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Ceremonies of the Interior of the Palace. — Rising and 
Breakfast of the Emperor. — Expenditure of the Imperial 
Household. — Anecdotes relating to the Concordat, the 
Consulship, and the Coronation. — Napoleon, on becom- 
ing Consul, promotes the election of Pius VII. — Conver- 
sation of Madame de Brignole with Cardinal Gonsalvi. — 
Madame de Caraman. — Napoleon and M. de Chateau- 
briand. Page 1 — 21. 


Anecdotes relating to the Coronation, and the stay of the 
Pope in Paris. — Napoleon and Josephine repair to Notre- 
Dame for the Coronation. — The Chinese, or the Presidents 
of Canton.— The Bishop of Alais.— The wig of Cardinal 
Caprara; diplomatic negotiation on the subject. — Journey 
to Italy on account of the consecration. Page 22 — 36. 



First Performance of the Templars at St. Cloud ; Napoleon 
criticises it to M, de Fontanes. — Napoleon sets out for 
Boulogne. — Wagers laid for and against the Descent on 
England. — Fulton, the inventor of steam-boats, proposes 
to Napoleon the Trial of his New Discoveries. — Madame 
de Stael. — Preparations for the Campaign of 1805. 

Page 37—47. 


Return of Napoleon to France. — M. Denon presents him 
with Medals upon the Campaign of Austerlitz.— Conversa- 
tion on the subject. — The Emperor gives orders to place a 
Battery of Twenty Pieces of Cannon at the Command of 
the General in-Chief of the Finances. — Conquest of the 
Kingdom of Naples. — Omens of the Campaign of 1806. — 
Commencement of that War. — Caricatures found at Berlin. 
— Suspension of Hostilities. — Proposal to assemble a Con- 
gress at Copenhagen. — Refusal on the Part of Russia. — 
Renewal of Hostilities. — Friedland, Eylau. — Peace of Til- 
sit. — Manner in which Napoleon lived when with the 
Army. - The Prince of Neufchatel.— Bulletins of the 
Grand Army. Page 48 — 63, 


Premature Death of the eldest son of Queen Hortensia, — 
- First idea of the divorce of Napoleon . — Death of the last 
Stuart. — Madame de Bonchamps, widow of the celebrated 
General, has a private audience with the Emperor.— The 
Abbe Fournier, Bishop of Montpellier, converses with Na- 
poleon on theological subjects — Josephine at Fontaine- 
bleau. — Plan for the Royal Family of Spain to go to 
America. Pag^e 64—73. 




Preparations for a Journey into Spain. — Departure of Napo- 
leon for Bordeaux. — Count Fernand-Nunez at Chatelle- 
raut. — Rapidity of the Journey of Napoleon to Bor- 
deaux, Arrival, and Reception. — Secretary Montholon de- 
spatched to Madrid. — The Emperor gives me two auto- 
graph letters from King Charles, and one from King Fer- 
dinand to translate, — Josephine arrives at Bordeaux, 

The Emperor sets out for Bayonne. — The Infant Don 
Carlos at Bayonne.— Napoleon resides at Chateau de 
Marac. — Ferdinand at Irun. — Letter from that Prince to 
Napoleon. — His arrival at Bayonne.— Napoleon visits him. 
— Dinner at the Chateau de Marac, — The Empress Jose- 
phine arrives at Marac. — Intercepting of Correspondence, 
1808. Page 74—92. 



Arrival of King Charles and the Queen of Spain at Bayonne. 
— First Interview between that sovereign and his son. — 
Arrival of the Infant Don Antonio at Bayonne. — Treaty 
concluded between the Emperor and King Charles. — Res- 
pecting King Charles IV.— Respecting the Queen of 
Spain.— Anecdote of the Duchess d' * * *.— King Charles 
and his Court set out for Fontainebleau, — Departure of 
Ferdinand and the Infants from Bayonne to Valenjay. — 
Proclamation of the Infants to the Spanish people,— Ad- 
dress prepared by the Duke of Infautado in the name of 
the grandees of Spain ; it is not delivered. — Transaction 
concerning it. Page 9^—108. 


History of Ali-Bey, (Badia-Castillo.) Page 1 09—1 18. 



Interview of Erfurt. — Personages who were present. 

Page 119—148. 

Departure of Napoleon for Spain. — His arrival at Vittoria. — 
Battle before Burgos. — Taking of that city. — Stay at 
Aranda de Duero. — The Emperor arrives before Madrid. 
— Attack on the Retiro, on the 3rd. — Capitulation of 
Madrid on the 4th. — Obstinate defence of the Body-guard 
in the Barracks. — Order to inspect the Royal Palace of 
Madrid. — The Marquis of St. Simon, Grandee of Spain, 
condemned to death and pardoned. — Napoleon visits Ma- 
drid and the Royal Palace incognito. — ^The Fandango. — 
First indications of a War against Austria. — An Audience 
granted to the Monks of the different orders at Valladolid. 

Page 149—165. 

Return to Paris. — Preparations for War in France and Ger- 
many — Rapidity of the triumphs of the army. — Armistice 
after the battle of Wagram. — Return of Napoleon to Fon- 
tainebleau. — Arrival of the Austrian Commissioners at 
Schoenbrunn. — Congress at Altemburg. — Attempt to as- 
sassinate Napoleon ; details of the transaction ; sentence 
and execution of the assassin. — Continuation of the negro- 
tiations at Schoenbrunn. — Signing of the preliminaries. 

Page 166—180. 

Departure from Schoenbrunn. — Arrival of the Emperor at 
Fontainebleau. — Conversation with the Empress Jose- 
phine, who acquaints me with the fears she entertains. — 
The King of Saxony at Paris. — The Court quits Fontaine- 
bleau. — Announcement of the Divorce to the Empress 
Josephine. — Events which follow that communication. 

Page 181—194. 



Respecting the Empress Josephine. — Te Deum at Notre- 
Danie for the Peace. — Ball given by the city of Paris. — 
The Empress appears there in public for the last time. — 
The alliance with Austria is fixed. — Spiritual divorce be- 
tween Napoleon and Josephine. — Count Otto the Ambas- 
sador from Vienna. — General Ordenner, Governor of the 
palace of Compiegne. Page 195 — 199. 


Prince Eugene is named successor to the Grand Duchy of 
Frankfort. — A splendid court sent to the frontiers of Aus- 
tria to receive the Empress Maria Louisa. — The German 
courts. — The King of Bavaria and two grenadiers in the 
streets of Munich. — Braunau. — Note containing a com- 
plete list of the persons forming the train of the Aus- 
trian Court, charged with conducting Maria Louisa to the 
French Court, — Arrangements for the ceremonial of the 
reception of her Majesty the Empress dictated by Napo- 
leon. Page 200 — 218. 


Instructions given to the gentleman-usher. Count Beauhar- 
nais. — The Austrian Court takes leave. — Entry into Brau- 
nau. — Departure for Munich. — Baron Saint-Aignan at 
Munich. — Count Beauveau at Stuttgard. — Count Bondi at 
Carlsruhe. — Maria Louisa's entry into France; the Em- 
press's first audience ; Nancy, Vitri, Silleri, Courcelles. — 
Napoleon arrives at the last-mentioned place. — First inter- 
view between Napoleon and Maria Louisa. — He conducts 
the Empress to Compiegne. — The ceremonial of the inter- 
view becomes useless. — Marriage F&tes. — Presents from 
the town of Paris. — Health given at a banquet by Prince 
Ferdinand at the castle of Valen9ay. Page 219—227. 



Visit of" their Majesties to Belgium. — Triumphal Arch in a 
Village. — Return to St. Cloud. — Duke of Rovigo. — 
Fouchc. — Ball of Prince Schwartzenberg. — Abdication of 
Louis, King of Holland.— J unot's presence of mind. — De- 
cennial Prizes. — History of Fenelon. — The addition of Hol- 
land to the Empire. — Madame de Montesquiou. — M. Du- 
bois. — Canova. — Communication to the Senate. 

Page 228— 241. 


Czernicheff at Paris. — Discussions with Russia. — Accouche- 
ment of Maria Louisa, in the presence of twenty-three per- 
sons. — The town of Paris presents a magnificent cradle. — 
Stay at St. Cloud, after the Churching. — A new-born in- 
fant is found ; useless inquiries concerning it. — Departure 
for Rambouillet. — Journey to Cherbourg. — Napoleon tastes 
the soldier's soup. — Visit to the vessels in the harbour. — 
Passage to Chartres. — M. de Cazes. — Baptism of the King 
of Rome. — Sudden death of General Ordenner ; anec- 
dotes. — Stay at Antwerp and at Amsterdam. — The Em- 
press visits the village of Bruk. — Saardam. — Departure 
from Amsterdam. Page 242 — 257. 


I read a translation of the English journals during the 
Emperor's dinner. — Departure of Czernicheff. — Journey 
to Dresden. — The Emperor and Empress of Austria, the 
King of Prussia, and the Prince Royal, repair to Dresden. 
— Stay at Dresden. — Departure of the assembled Sove- 
reigns. — Napoleon sets out for the army.— Maria Louisa 
at Prague. — Residence there. — My journal of this resi- 
dence. — Carlsbad. — Visit to the mines of Frankenthal. — 
Egra, Bamberg, and Wurtzburg. Page 258 — 275. 



My preparations for the journey to Russia. — I am entrusted 
with the Empress's despatches, and with the portrait of 
the King of Rome, painted by Gerard. — Account of this 
celebrated artist. — Anecdote of the grand portrait of Maria 
Louisa. — Memorandum on the Emperor's projected em- 
bellishments of the Louvre. — My journey and arrival at 
the head-quarters, on the 6th of September, the eve of the 
battle of the Moscowa. — Napoleon opens the case which 
contains the portrait of his son. — Battle of Moscowa. 

Page 276—286. 


Te Deum at Moscow for the battle of the Moscowa. — Cus- 
tom of the Court of Vienna at the conclusion of a bat- 
tle Hurrah ! of the Cossacks. — The Emperor visits the 

field of battle; orders concerning the wounded. — Mojaisk. 
— The 14th of September before Moscow. — The Emperor's 
entrance into Moscow. — Conferences of the Cossacks with 
the King of Naples. — Philip Segur and I receive an order 
to visit the Kremlin. — First appearance of the conflagra- 
tion. — This fire must be attributed to the Russians. 

Page 287—298. 


Moscow and the Kremlin. — Progress of the fire. — Napoleon 
leaves the Kremlin and goes to Petrowski. — Two days 
after, he returns to the Kremlin, — Private concerts at the 
Kremlin. — Truce. — Breaking of the Truce. — The Emperor 
wishes to pass the winter at Moscow. Page 2.09 — 313. 


Summary view of the retreat as far as Wilna. 

Page 314—320. 
VOL. n. b 



New preparations for defence. — The Archbishop of Nantes at 
the levee. — Concordat of the 23rd of January. — Laws of 
the State for a Council of Regency — Recall of Count Otto. 
— Count Louis de Narbonne despatched to Vienna. — The 
Empress's oath on being made Regent. — Prince Schwartz- 
enberg and Count Bubna at Paris. — Departure for May- 
ence. — Napoleon's conversation at Mayence concerning 
the Concordat, and his opinion on the government of the 
Pope. Page 321—331. 


Battle of Lutzen. — Personal bravery of the King of Prussia. 
— Conversation vi?ith Duroc at Dresden. — Death of the 
Duke de Frioul. — Property of the crown. — Survey ot 
France; its population in 1S13. — Armistice at Dresden. — 
Return of the Emperor. — Fouche despatched to Illyria. 
— French play at Dresden. — Remarkable changes in Na- 
poleon's taste. — Mademoiselle Mars at the Emperor's 
breakfast. Page 332—347. 


Affair of M. Carion de Nisas. — Congress at Prague. — De- 
cisive audience of M. de Metternich at Dresden. — Condi- 
tions proposed by Austria ; refusal to sign them. — ^The 
Emperor leaves Dresden. Page 348 — 359, 


Campaign of France. — Congress at Chatillon. — Courageous 
conduct of the Duke of Vicenza. — Council of Regency ; 
the determination to quit Paris on the 29th of March. — 
Observations on this order.— What passed at the Council 


of Regency on the 28th. — The Empress Maria Louisa du- 
ring the Regency. — Departure from Paris. — The King of 
Rome refuses to leave the palace. — Arrival at Rambouillet 

Page 360—365. 


Character of the Court. — King Joseph arrives in the evening 
of the 29th. — Order to leave Rambouillet. — Arrival at 
Blois. — The Arch-chancellor Cambaceres. — Regency of 
Blois. — Proclamation of the Regency. — Joseph, Jerome, 
and Cambaceres visit Maria Louisa to inform her that she 
must leave Blois. — Arrival of the Commissioners at Blois. 
— The Empress entrusts me with her despatches to the 
Emperors of France and Austria. — Visit to Count Schou- 
walofF. — Notification of the armistice. Page 366 — 379. 


I return to Paris on the 9th of April. — Visit to Prince 
Schwartzenberg. — Arrival of Metternich and Lord Castle- 
reagh. — Conversation with the Prince de Metternich. — 
I deliver to him the Empress's letter to the Emperor of 
Austria. — Saloon of the Prince of Benevento. — Treaty of 
the Allied Powers with the Emperor. — My departure for 
Fontaineblcau. — Audience of the Emperor ; his opinion of 
the departure from Paris, of the Congress at Chatillon, of 
the Duke of Tarento, of himself, of General HuUin. 

Page 380—392. 


On Napoleon. — His Private Habits. — His Personal Dignity. 
— Observations of Napoleon. — Maria Louisa at Orleans. — 
Return of the Crown diamonds. — Prince Paul of Ester- 


hazy at Orleans.— Departure for RambouiUet.— Visit of the 
Emperor of Austria— Visit of the Emperor Alexander.— 
Visit of the King of Prussia.— Departure from Rambouil- 
let for Gros-Bois ; residence there.— Visit of the Emperor 
of Austria ; departure for Germany.— The Empress Maria 
Louisa leaves France on the 2d of May. Page 393—405. 






Ceremonies of the Interior of the Palace. — Rising and 
Breakfast of the Emperor, — Expenditure of the Imperial 
Household. — Anecdotes relating to the Concordat, the 
Consulship, and the Coronation. — Napoleon, on becom- 
ing Consul, promotes the election of Pius VII. — Conver- 
sation of Madame de Brignole with Cardinal Gonsalvi. — 
iMadame de Caraman. — Napoleon and M. de Chateau- 

I WAS appointed Prefect of the Palace on 
the 1st of February, 1805, two months after 
the coronation, which marked the return to 
the principles of monarchical government. 
The duties which were assigned to me, con- 



sisted of a personal attendance, and a superin- 
tendance over part of the household, vnider the 
direction of the Grand JNIarshal. 

Every morning at nine o'clock, the Emperor 
quitted his private apartment, dressed for the 

The public functionaries were the first ad- 
mitted, and Napoleon delivered his orders for 
the day. 

Immediately afterwards, those who possessed 
the grandes entrees were admitted. They were 
composed of persons of the highest rank, and 
who had the right from their office, or by some 
special favour. 

The officers of the imperial household, who 
were not on duty, had equally the advantage 
of being admitted. 

Many people who appear now to have for- 
gotten it, then attached a very high value to 
the enjoyment of so flattering a distinction. 
Napoleon addressed himself to every one suc- 
cessively, and heard with kindness all that each 
wished to say. His round finished, he bowed, 
and all withdrew. It often happened, how- 
ever, that some were desirous of a private 
audience ; these waited until the rest had 
retired, and then again approaching the Em- 


peror, were left alone with him, and obtained 
their wish. 

I ought to observe, that what I here relate 
respecting the customs of the palace, applies 
only to the department to which I was at- 
tached, and that it has never once entered my 
mind to give a complete and general view 
of the ceremonies connected with the other 

Napoleon's breakfast was served at half past 
nine o'clock. The Prefect of the palace an- 
nounced it, and preceded him into the break- 
fast chamber, where he attended with the prin- 
cipal steward, who waited upon the Emperor. 
Napoleon breakfasted from ofF a little maho- 
gany table, covered with a napkin. The Pre- 
fect of the palace stood up, his hat under his 
arm, at the end of this little table. As tem- 
perate as it was possible for a man to be, the 
breakfast of Napoleon often did not occupy 
more than eight minutes ; but when he expe- 
rienced the necessity of closing Jiis cabinet, as 
he said sometimes smiling, it lasted a consi- 
derable length of time. Then nothing could 
equal the charming gaiety of his conversation. 
His expressions were rapid, decided and pictu- 
resque. In these periods of my service I have 
known the most agreeable hours of my life. 

B 2 


While at breakfast I very often proposed to 
him to receive some of those persons to whom 
he had granted that favour. It was generally 
to literary men of the first rank, such as MM. 
Monge*, Bertholetf, Costaz:j:, surveyor of the 
crown buildings, and Denon, director of the 
Museum, whom he had had with him during 
his campaign in Egypt, and Corvisart. Among 
those celebrated for their great talents were 
MM. David, Gerard, Isabey§, Talma. Ton- 

* The Emperor regarded JM. Monge as one of the greatest 
geometricians of the age, as the Frenchman by whom he was 
most beloved. 

f The greatest chemist of the time, and in whose labora- 
tory Napoleon studied the principles of that science previous 
to his departure for Egypt. 

X M. Costaz, member of the Institute of Egypt, in cha- 
racter of geometrician, has been successively Member of the 
Tribunal, Prefect, Surveyor of Buildings, Counsellor of State, 
Surveyor General of Bridges and Highways, &c. The Em- 
peror has many times said that he was one of the men whose 
conversation he most liked, " because it was the most va- 

§ The name of M. Isabey, miniature-painter, so justly cele- 
brated for his superior talents and personal qualities, reminds 
me of an anecdote but little known. Eight days before that 
of the Coronation, the Emperor commanded him to furnish 
seven designs, representing the seven ceremonies which were 
to be performed in the metropolitan church, but the repe- 
tition of which could not be effected at Notre-Dame, in the 
presence of the multitude of workmen who were employed 


taine, his principal architect,* &c. Some among 
them are still living, and I am well assured 

about the embellishments and decorations. To make seven 
designs, each comprehending more than a hundred persons 
in action, in so short a time was really to demand an 
impossibility. The Emperor, however, never admitted of 
any such excuse. The word impossible, had for a long 
while been erased from his dictionary. The happy and fer- 
tile imagination of M. Isabey inspired him at the moment 
with a singular idea. He replied with confidence, and to 
the great astonishment of the Emperor, that in twice four- 
and-twenty-hours his orders should be executed. Before 
he returned home, he went to the toy-shops, and purchased 
all the little wooden men, made fur the amusement of 
children, that he could find. He dressed them in paper of 
the colour and costume of each person who was to take a part 
in the ceremonies of the Coronation ; made a plan of Notre- 
Dame upon a scale proportioned to these little puppets, and 
on the third day presented himself before Napoleon, who im- 
mediately asked him for the seven designs. " Sire, I bring 
you something better than designs," replied Isabey. He 
developed his plan, and set forth the persons who were to 
act in the first ceremony, and whose names he had written 
at the base of each figure. This represented the recep- 
tion under the canopy at the church door. The Emperor was 
so well satisfied, that he instantly summoned all those who 
were to conduce to the eclat of that great event. The 
rehearsals took place in the Emperor's chamber and on a 
large table. One ceremony alone, more complicated than 
the others, required an actual rehearsal. This was effected 

* See note in page 6. 


they will concur with me in saying that no- 
thing equalled the grace and amiability of 

in the gallery of Diana at the TuilerieS;, by means of a plan 
traced with chalk upon the floor. Isabey had displayed all 
the taste possible in the dressing of his puppets, and, by his 
talent, prevented his plan from appearing at all ridiculous. 
The clergy, the ladies, the princesses, the Emperor, the 
Pope himself, the whole were dressed in the most exact 
and appropriate costume. I have been informed, that at 
the period of the abdication (1814), M. Isabey, faithful to 
gratitude and to misfortune, repaired to Fontainebleau 
to restore to the Emperor the portraits of the Empress 
Marie-Louise and of his son in the same picture, con- 
vinced that that act of respect would afford him pleasure. 
Napoleon testified his full satisfaction, and after eulogis- 
ing the feelings and talents of M. Isabey, said : " Un- 
doubtedly Corvisart, Gerard, Fontaine, and yourself will be 
called for by the King ; serve him as you have always served 

* M. Fontaine, the most learned architect of France, the 
most able and the most honest. At the commencement of 
his consular power. Napoleon gave directions to M. Fon- 
taine to bring him a plan relative to some important build- 
ings. That prince considered the prices too high, and in the 
heat of discussion used some expressions which wounded the 
extreme delicacy of M. Fontaine so deeply that he thought 
it right to send in his resignation. The First Consul, per- 
plexed to find a successor, desired the Minister of the Inte- 
rior to furnish him with a list of a dozen architects capable 
of executing his views. At the head of that list figured the 
name of M. Fontaine. " Reduce your list to six persons," 
said the Consul to the minister. — M. Fontaine, &c. — " Re- 


Napoleon. Gifted with a copious mind, su- 
perior intelligence, and extraordinary tact, it 
was in these moments of relaxation that he 
most astonished and delighted. 

Returned to his closet, he was occupied with 
receiving the ministers or the directors-general, 
who arrived with their portfolios. These dif- 
ferent labours lasted until six o'clock in the 
afternoon, and were never interrupted except 
on the days appointed for holding a council of 
the ministers, or a council of state. The din- 
ner was regularly served at six o'clock. Their 
Majesties dined alone, except on Sunday, when 
all the Imperial family were admitted to the 
banquet. The Emperor, Empress, and the 
Emperor's mother, were seated vipon great 
chairs, and the other kings, queens, princes, 
and princesses, had only ordinary ones. There 
was but a single course, which was succeeded 
by the dessert. Napoleon preferred the most 
simple dishes ; he drank no wine but Cham- 
bertin, and rarely that undiluted. The attend- 

duce it again to the number of three." — ]\I. Fontaine, &c. — 
" Confine yourself to a single name." — IM. Fontaine, always 
M. Fontaine. Napoleon sent for him, and said to him, 
pinching his ear, " Well ! since you are the most able and 
the most honest, I must let you do as you please ;" and he 
did well. 


ance was performed by the pages, assisted by 
the valets-de-chambre, the stewards, and the 
carvers, but never by the footmen in livery. 
The dinner commonly occupied from fifteen to 
twenty minutes. He never drank any liqvieur ; 
he took habitually two cups of pure coffee, one 
in the morning after his breakfast, and the 
other after his dinner. All that has been said 
respecting his committing excess is false and 
ridiculous. During dinner, the prefect of the 
palace had only to superintend the whole, 
and to answer such questions as were put 
to him. 

On their return to the parlour, a page pre- 
sented to the Emperor a gilt salver, upon w^hich 
were a cup and a sugar-basin. The chief 
attendant poured out the coffee, the Empress 
took the cup from the Emperor, the page and 
the chief attendant retired. I waited tiU the 
Empress had poured the coffee into the saucer 
and presented it to Napoleon. It had so often 
happened that he forgot to drink it at the 
proper time, that the Empress Josephine, and 
after her the Empress Marie Louise, adopted 
this agreeable way of remedying that trifling 

I then withdrew ; and a short time after- 
wards the Emperor again retired to his closet 


and to labour ; for " rarely," he said, " do I put 
off till to-morrow, that which may be done to- 
day." The Empress descended into her apart- 
ments by a private staircase, which served for 
a communication to the two floors, and to the 
two apartments. On entering she was received 
by her ladies of honour, others who were privi- 
leged, and the officers of her household. Card- 
tables were set out for form's sake, and to dispel 
formality and dulness. Sometimes Napoleon 
entered through tlie interior apartments of the 
Empress, and conversed with as much sim- 
plicity as freedom, perhaps with the ladies of 
the palace, or perhaps with one of us ; but in 
general he remained only a short time. The 
officers on duty ascended to assist at the eve- 
ning audience, and to receive his orders for the 
morrow. Such was the habitual life that the 
Emperor lived at the Tuileries ; and its uni- 
formity was never deranged, except when there 
was a concert, a play, or a hunt. 

I am aware that these details of the pri- 
vate life of Napoleon do not accord with 
those which have been published by biographers 
who never approached that extraordinary man. 
These which I here present are given with the 
greatest exactitude. 

When he was residing at Saint Cloud the 


manner of living was the same ; there was no 
other alteration than the time employed, in the 
fine season, in driving out in an open carriage. 
The council of the ministers was held every 
Wednesday, and they were uniformly invited 
to dine with their Majesties. 

At Fontainebleau, Rambouillet, or Com- 
piegne, when Napoleon went hunting, a tent 
for breakfasting in was always erected in the 
forest, and the whole hunt was invited to the 
repast. The ladies followed the chase in open 
carriages. Generally speaking, eight or ten of 
the hunters were invited to dinner. 

As occasions may present themselves I shall 
speak of the style of living when with the 
army and when travelling. With respect to 
the expenses of the household, every thing 
was regulated with infinite order. The Grand- 
marshal the Duke de Frioul had arranged his 
duties with admirable judgment, foresight, and 
discretion. I have now before me the Grand- 
marshal's budget for 1805, which I will copy. 

" Ordinary Expenses of the Office of the Grand-marshal. 

Grand-marshal, three prefects of the palace, two 

marechaux de logis, and three assistants - - 116,000 

A secretary-general, first quarter- master, and first 

controller of the household _ _ . 16,000 

Carried over - - 132,000 



Brought over - - 
Salaries of the gentlemen employed about his Ma- 
jesty . . - .. 
Allowances to persons detached on journeys 
Clothing for the footmen . - _ 
Washing . _ _ _ 
Lighting . _ - - 
Fuel - . . - - 
rThe Kitchen - - - 
Provisions < Buttery ... 

Charge of the plate - . _ 

Charge of the linen, with annual augmentation - 
Charge of the porcelain - - . 

Costs of conveyance - - - 

For the imperial palace of the Tuileries, of the 
Louvre, Saint-Cloud, Saint-Germain, Meudon, 
VersaiUes, Trianon, Rambouillet, Fontaine- 
bleau, Laken, and Strasbourg, comprising pen- 
sions to old domestics, allowances for the 
support of officers and soldiers of the guard, 
the head-quarters, imperial, and barracks, the 
whole of the secret expenditure, the costs of 
the bureau, the household of the Empress, and 
the clothing of the footmen in her service 
Expenses of the crown in the departments beyond 
the Alps, called those of Piedmont, the palace 
of Turin and of Stupinits 

Total francs - 

















- 2,328,167 

In 1806 the budget of the Grand- marshal 
was increased to 2,770,841 francs. This arose 
from various new duties being imposed on that 


office. Funds were assigned for the annual 
augmentation of the plate (1000 silver plates), 
for the necessary articles to complete the little 
gilt service of their Majesties, for the purchase 
of kitchen furniture, of glass, and crockery- 
ware, for the Palace of Strasbourg, and for the 
Chateau of Rambouillet, &c. 

The manner in which the budgets for the 
imperial household were settled and signed was 
as follows : — 

"At the conclusion of a general recapitula- 
tion of all the offices, his Majesty has decreed 
as follows: 

" The Treasurer-general of the crown, will 
hold at the disposal of the chief functionaries of 
our household, the sums for which each of them 
is set down in those that form the general total 
of the present budget. 

" (The office of Grand-marshal is comprised 
for the sums declared underneath it.) 

" The expenditure of all the offices shall be 
ordered, approved, warranted and paid agree- 
ably with the spirit of the decrees and decisions 
which we have given, as much upon the res- 
ponsibility of our imperial household, as upon 
the destination to which the funds are ap- 
propriated ; and the chief functionaries cannot, 
under any pretext, command or order works. 


purchases, or provisions, but as far as in con- 
currence with the funds appropriated to each 
article of expense. 

" From our imperial palace . . . &:c. Sec. 

" Napoleon." 

Extraordinary expenses not foreseen by the 
budget, as those occasioned by the coronation, 
by the stay of the Kings of Saxony, Bavaria, 
and Wirtemberg at Paris, by the marriage, 
the baptism, &c., were provided for by special 
decrees. I am able to say of my own know- 
ledge, that the budgets of the other great offi- 
ces, the great-chamberlain, grand master of the 
horse, grand huntsman, grand master of the 
ceremonies, those of the surveyor-general and 
of the surveyor of buildings, were arranged and 
executed with the same regularity and fidelity. 
By means of this general budget of his house- 
hold, Napoleon knew from the first day of the 
year what would be his expenditure, and no 
person ever dared to exceed the credit opened 
to his account. 

It must not be imagined that the court was 
niggardly or parsimonious. The habits of Napo- 
leon were simple and moderate, but he loved 
splendour and magnificence about him. His 
court was always brilliant and in good taste. 
It was orderly and without profusion. 


Correctly speaking there were but four ta- 

The table of the Emperor. 

The table of the officers on duty about their 

The table of the officers of the guard and 
of the pages. 

The table of the ladies of honour to the 

That of the grand-marshal was served in his 
own apartments, where the grand diplomatic 
dinners took place, and at which he did the ho- 
nours with remarkable dignity and politeness. 

The remains from the Emperor's table fur- 
nished that of the chamber women of the Em- 
press, the stewards, and the valets of the Em- 
peror, &c. The remains from the other tables 
served for the other persons employed and man- 
tained within the palace. The footmen were 
not of this number. They were clothed and 
received a crown a day for wages and provisions. 
The ordinary livery belonged to them after a 
year of service, and the grand one after tv/o 

I ask pardon for these minute details, but 
many persons will like to know them, and they 
give moreover a correct idea of the private life 
of Napoleon. 


The only observation I feel it necessary to 
add is, that being often entirely taken up with 
affairs of state, he passed many breakfasts and 
dinners without uttering a single word. But I 
ought to say that these moments were rare, and 
that even when he was serious and silent, he al- 
ways appeared in my estimation just, polite, and 
kind. I dare affirm, that there are but few men 
who in their private life have shown a great- 
er equality of character, or greater softness of 
manners. I speak of what I witnessed. The 
nature of my office never exposed me to poli- 
tical discussions ; and I am convinced that with 
respect to his private life, Napoleon will never 
lose any portion of his reputation. I ought to 
add in conclusion, that if I have seen his fea- 
tures animated, and heard him express himself 
with anger on many occasions, it appeared to me 
there was almost always reason for his doing so. 
His indignation originated in noble and elevat- 
ed sentiments ; and even at the period of his 
power he met with much ingratitude. 

Whenever I may find occasion I shall intro- 
duce some anecdotes relative to the Concordat, 
the Consulate, and the Coronation. 1 write as 
my memory dictates, and without respect to 


Pius VI., died at Valencia, on the 29th of 
August, 1799, during the government of the 
Directory, which flattered itself that after the 
death of tliat venerable pontiff*, it should be 
able to prevent a successor from being nomi- 
nated, and with that view it had augmented 
the Frencli armies in Italy. In case it did not 
succeed in hindering the election of a new 
Pope, measures had been taken to procure the 
nomination of two or three as the most easy way 
of overthrowing the papacy. But the Revolu- 
tion of the 18th Brumaire, happened on the 9th 
of November in the same year, and dissipated 
the ridiculous reveries of theophilanthropy. I 
have heard Napoleon express himself clearly 
upon this subject, and he declared that when he 
obtained the Consulate, his first care was to for- 
ward the election of Pius VII. and to discon- 
cert the intrigues commenced by the Direc- 
tory. Pius VII. was elected on the 9th of 
March following. 

Cardinal Gonsalvi, the prime minister of the 
Pope, came to Paris respecting the Concordat. 
It was difficult to suppose that so extraordi- 
nary a voyage would not lead to some impor- 
tant result, for certainly they ought to have 
known at Rome what the French Government 
desired, and it was only reasonable to think 


that the Pope would not have decided on 
sending his prime minister, without investing 
him with the most extensive powers, and the 
authority to grant all that it was possible 
could be granted. This extraordinary mission 
was determined vipon through the sending of a 
courier, whom the Government dispatched to 
M. de Cacault, the French ambassador, direct- 
ing him to demand his passports, and to quit 
Rome, because the difficulties and slowness 
of the Pope, seemed to prove that he was not 
willing to conclude an arrangement in confor- 
mity with the views of France. M. de Cacault 
having made the prime minister of the Pope 
acquainted with this determination, Rome 
was panic-struck, and the holy father decided 
promptly to enter into an arrangement. ^I. de 
Cacault advised the Pope to send Cardinal 
Gonsalvi into France, as, independently of the 
consideration that so distinguished an embassy 
would be flattering to the First Consul, it 
would be the means of abridging the delays, 
and of gaining, perhaps, fresh facilities for 
as favourable a settlement as circumstances 
could admit of. In addition to Cardinal Gon- 
salvi, that extraordinary embassy included a 
luuuber of his counsellors, Cardinal Capiara. 



the Archbishop of Genoa, Spina, and many 
able theologians. 

The Concordat was signed and religion pre- 
served in France. It is not, therefore, asto- 
nishing some years after to find that the Pope, 
satisfied with the state of things which this 
Concordat had brought about, came to Paris, 
and consecrated and crowned the Emperor. 

One day Cardinal Gonsalvi had just quitted 
the house of M. de Brignole when M. de S * * * 
entered. " Can you imagine," said Madame 
de Brignole to him, " what was the subject of 
my conversation with the Cardinal ? We 
were speaking of the marriage of priests." To 
be brief, the Cardinal, overjoyed with the sign- 
ing of the Concordat, had said, " that if the 
French Government had made the demand, 
most certainly the court of Rome would have 
conseaited to it, because it was nothing but a 
point of discipline, &c." M. de S * * * hastened 
to find the First Consul, and to communicate 
to him what he had learned. The Consul re- 
plied, that he did not at all doubt the proposi- 
tion would have been acceded to had it been 
made, but that it had been purposely abstained 
from, in order not to give " the suburbs of St. 
Germain an opportunity of calling the holy fa- 


ther by the name of heretic." He added, that 
it was his desire to have a pope whose import- 
ance was not weakened, a pope truly catholic, 
apostolic, and Roman. This was not the only 
occasion on which the Emperor gave evidence 
of his regard for the wishes of the old school 
of aristocrats ; for it is in this light that we 
must understand the expression, " suburbs of 
St. Germain." 

I have heard the following anecdote related. 

M. Victor de Caraman (now Ambassador 
from the King to the Emperor of Austria) was 
arrested and thrown into prison during the Con- 
sulate. His wife, encouraged by the Empress 
Josephine, with whose extreme goodness all 
France is familiar, had the courage to pass the 
guards, and ascending the step of the carnage 
of Napoleon, addressed him in the most touch- 
ing manner in behalf of her husband. She 
was heard with calmness, and without anger, 
but she did not obtain a favourable decision. 
In her confusion, Madame de Caraman lost her 
reticule in the carriage, and it was returned 
to her the following morning. At first, she 
thought to find in it the pardon of her hus- 
band. Perhaps, in the days of ancient chi- 
valry, and in less serious cases, this fashion of 

c 2 


gallantry would have been adopted. The Em- 
press Josephine observed that at one moment 
the Emperor was tempted to do so, but that 
he imagined the apparent forgetfulness was 
intentional and premeditated ; and, that then 
he refused to concede the favour which was 
sought. Some months afterwards, M. de Cara- 
man was liberated from prison to reside at 
Ivree, in Piedmont, where he was under sur- 

It was at the period of the Consulship that 
M. de Chateaubriand made his appearance 
in the literary world. I was intimately ac- 
quainted with his elder brother, who married 
Mademoiselle de Rosambeau, grand-daughter 
of the illustrious and virtuous defender of 
Louis XVI., and grand-niece of my aunt, Ma- 
dame de la Regniere. The kindnesses which 
that respectable family had bestowed on me in 
my youth, had impressed my mind with such 
sentiments of gratitude and admiration as 
inspired me, even before reading it, with a 
favourable feeling towards the first work of 
an author, whose name was coimected with 
so many honovirable remembrances. Although 
abandoned to all kinds of dissipation, I perused 
the " Beauties of Christianity" with inexpressi- 


ble pleasure, and it appeared to me altogether 
an admirable work. Some persons, more fasti- 
dious, had the boldness to censure M. de Cha- 
teaubriand for having introduced the episodes of 
Atala and of Rene, which they regarded as ro- 
mantic incidents entirely foreign to the work, 
and at variance with the dignity of the subject. 
So much severity seemed to me unjust ; the 
work is a poem in prose, embellished with the 
most brilliant colours of poetry, and not a trea- 
tise on theology. The first edition of this beau- 
tiful composition was dedicated to the First 
Consul, as the Restorer of Religion in. France ; 
and I have heard Napoleon, when speaking on 
the subject, say, that " He had never been 
better praised." 



Anecdotes relating to the Coronation, and the stay of the 
Pope in Paris. — Napoleon and Josephine repair to Notre- 
Dame for the Coronation.— The Chinese^ or the Presidents 
of Canton. — The Bishop of Alais. — The wig of Cardinal 
Caprara ; diplomatic negotiation on the subject. — Journey 
to Italy on account of the consecration. 

When the Pope had been a few days in 
Paris, all the world concurred in saying, that 
it was impossible for any one to conduct him- 
self in a more admirable manner. People were 
both affected and edified by his goodness, his 
simplicity, his kindness towards others, and 
his austerity towards himself. His habits and 
style of living were those of a simple monk. 
He observed the fasts throughout the year as 
though he had been in his convent ; and he 
never said a single word which could give rise 
to ridicule or even to jesting. It is also but 
right to remark that Napoleon, on his part, had 
always entertained for the Pope the utmost 


readiness to serve him, and the most respectful 

What I have said respecting the temper- 
ance and frugality of the Pope, must not be 
applied to all the persons in his suite. When 
I had been two months appointed Prefect of 
the Palace, I examined the accounts and the 
provision made for the household of the holy 
father ; and I remarked that there were an infi- 
nite number of unaccountable articles. I knew 
that the Emperor had directed that whatever 
was applied for should be provided ; those 
employed by the Pope knew it also, and they 
availed themselves largely of the privilege. 
For instance, they required every day five bot- 
tles of Chambertin wine for the Pope's table, 
when his Holiness always dined alone, and 
never drank any thing but water ; the rest was 
in proportion. The otlier tables, prepared for 
the persons composing the suite, according to 
their rank, were served with magnificence and 
profusion ; and yet it always appeared that 

Signor M , one of the ecclesiastical officers 

of his Holiness, could not find at the table, to 
which lie was admitted, a provision sufiiciently 
copious to satisfy his vast appetite. One day 

the Count de B , now peer of France, but 

tlien Chamberlain to the Emperor, and in at- 


tendance on the Pope, having occasion to pass 
into a closet, he discovered the gentleman above- 
mentioned there, occupied in vigorously de- 
vouring the wreck of a large fat pullet with 
truffles, which he had had the address to carry 
off, and was using as a dining-table one of those 
moveables which the upholsterers now decorate 
with the name of somiio, but which w^ere then 
simply designated night-tables. It must not 
be forgotten that the Signor had just risen from 

I was curious to witness the details of the 
Coronation, and the Count of Bearn-Brassac, 
with whom I had long been extremely inti- 
mate, proposed that we should go together to 
the Tuileries to see the different processions 
set out ; neither he nor myself then belonged 
to the imperial household, and we made use 
of two admissions to the palace, which had 
been given to him by Madame de la Roche- 
foucault, Lady of Honour to the Empress Jo- 
sephine. The first cortege was that of his 
Holiness, which set forth from the Pavilion 
of Flora, We then took up oiu* station in the 
court below the great door of the vestibule of 
the grand staircase. After having admired the 
beauty of the horses and the elegance and rich- 


ness of the carriages, we saw all the great per- 
sonages enter the carriages which were to pre- 
cede the Coronation-carriage. The Coronation- 
carriage is generally very grand, with glass and 
without panels ; the back resembles the front. 
AVhen their Majesties entered, they mistook 
the side, and placed themselves in the front; 
but in an instant perceiving their error, they 
threw themselves, laughing, into the back. 
This observation is, of course, trifling ; but I 
know not how it is I have never been able 
to lose tlie remembrance of it. Some persons, 
more superstitiously inclined, would have at- 
tached to it greater importance. 

As for the rest, nothing equalled the magni- 
ficence displayed on this occasion. The guests 
soon arranged themselves to return home. The 
Presidents of the Cantons gave rise to many 
pleasantries ; the gaiety of the French wit was 
much amused, and acknowledged them only 
by the name of Chinese, in consequence of the 
similarity of the name of the Cantons to that of 
Canton. It was observed tliat those good men 
were greatly astonished at not occupying more 
attention than they did, having without doubt 
conceived that they should produce a great 
effect in Paris. When a man is the chief in his 
canton, he naturally imagines that he shall be 


chief everywhere ; the case was the same with 
all the secondary authorities ; they discovered 
that the days of vulgar orators had passed away, 
and that under the sway of an Emperor who 
had conquered his throne at the point of the 
sword, it was great talents and military abilities, 
which would always lead to the possession of 
power and honours. A singular adventure hap- 
pened to the president of one of the cantons. 
The occasion had suspended the regulations of 
the interior of the palace, and the entrance to 
the first rooms in the apartments of the Pope 
was free to all persons whose dress was appro- 
priate and decent. M. de Servi^s Campr^don, 
president of the canton of St. Gervais, arron- 
dissement de Beziers, and grand prior of the 
brotherhood of White Penitents of St. Gervais, 
a pious and estimable man, was one of the 
most punctual in attendance in the passage of 
the Pope. One day, being pressed for time, he 
hastily pulled off his spatterdashes and thrust 
them into his pocket, having scarcely time to 
enter and to put himself, like all the rest, on his 
knees, to receive in his turn the benediction 
of the Holy Pontiff. Feeling the perspiration 
running down his face, he took one of his spat- 
terdashes, covered with the mud of the streets 
of Paris, instead of his handkerchief, to wipe 


it, without being aware of the strange effect 
produced by his mistake. Those about him, 
occupied with receiving the benediction of 
the holy father, saw nothing of this grotesque 
daubing, so that there was no one to apprize 
M. de Servies of his condition. The Pope, 
without doubt, kindly put the most favourable 
interpretation on his haste and its consequences, 
and gave his benediction with so much the 
more earnestness, when he perceived the fatal 
spatterdash in the hand of the good president. 
M. de Servies himself related to me his misad- 

My uncle, formerly Bishop of Alais, and 
who died a Cardinal, Duke and Peer of 
France, had an audience of the Pope in the 
beginning of March, 1805. I was at my 
aunt's, Madame de la Reyniere, with M. de 
Donaisan, as pious and amiable a man as could 
possibly be, when that illustrious prelate re- 
lated to us the details of his interview ; I took 
an exact note of it immediately afterwards, 
and I believe I succeeded in preserving even 
his very expressions, at least M. de Donaisan, 
whom I consulted, assured me that my report 
was faithful. 

" Imagine," said he, smiling, " that the I'opc 


has made me sit down by his side." — " At his 
side !" replied my aunt, quite astonished at so 
great a favom\ — " Ay ! at his side, like his 
equal. You will readily believe that I asked 
him for no secrets, and that he confided none 
to me ; but that being excepted, it is impossi- 
ble to have received a more affectionate wel- 
come. I said to him in Latin, (and it is very 
true,) that it was a kind of miracle, that he 
should have been able, in this country of con- 
tradictions, to conciliate all hearts, all opinions, 
and all parties ; that his heart must have been 
touched to find that religious sentiments were 
not entirely eradicated from every mind ; that 
he himself had been able to perceive this from 
all the testimonies of regard and of veneration, 
and which had not for a single instant been 
contradicted, although with an extreme kind- 
ness he had condescended to comply with all 
the requests which had been made to him to 
show himself to the multitude. I afterwards 
gave him the reasons respecting my health, 
which prevented me from accepting office ; he 
was already acquainted with them, and said 
some most flattering things upon the sub- 
ject. After about a quarter-of-an-hour of close 
conversation, I thought it right to retire. 
He would not for an instant permit that I 


should prostrate myself at his feet, but he 
kissed me tenderly upon both my cheeks. 1 
found the Pope to be all he had been describ- 
ed to me : he had a countenance in accordance 
with his character, full of simplicit}^ of f»;ood- 
ness ; a soft aspect, but strongly marked with 
religious feeling ; warm without bitterness, and 
showing signs of the great sacrifices which he 
had had to make. INIy uncle added, that he 
knew the Pope had extricated himself with 
wisdom and with firmness from many em- 
barrassing proposals which had been made to 
him, and which Avould have injured the dig- 
nity of his station, and that if it was still 
doubtful \A^hether the clergy of France would 
derive any great advantage from the journey 
of the Po])e, it was at least certain that his 
holiness had experienced the most complete 
personal success ; that he had preserved, be- 
yond all hope, the dignity of his character in a 
country where every thing tended to excite 
apprehension lest it should be compromised at 
a period still so close to the atrocities of the 
Revolution. " 

An amusing discussion occurred between 
the celebrated David, the chief of the French 
school, and Cardinal Caprara. The repugnance 


which that great painter entertained against 
representing persons in modern costume is well 
known ; it may even be said, that his repug- 
nance extended to every species of clothing. In 
his magnificent picture of the Coronation, he 
represented Cardinal Caprara, one of the Pope's 
assistants, without his wig, and with a bald 
head: the portrait was a perfect likeness. The 
Cardinal, little sensible of that advantage, 
perceived nothing but what it wanted, and he 
entreated David to be good enough to restore 
his periwig. The other protested that he 
would never so far degrade his pencil as to 
paint it ; his eminence demanded its restitution 
without avail; he addressed himself even to 
M. the Prince of Talleyrand, then Minister for 
Foreign Affairs, and the business was treated 
diplomatically. The Cardinal became the more 
warm in the discussion, because as the Pope 
had never worn a periwig, in renouncing his 
own he might be thought to put forth some 
pretensions to the chair of St. Peter, in case 
the holy see should become vacant. David 
yielded not, saying that his eminence ought to 
consider himself fortunate that " he had taken 
nothing more than his wig from him." The 
portrait remained in the picture unaltered. 


In the month of March, the great dejDuta- 
tion from the Italian RepubHc was received 
in the grand imperial cliamber. M. de Melzy, 
since Duke of Lodi, ])resided over that nume- 
rous and brilliant deputation. It came to offer 
the crown of the khigdom of Italy, and that 
crown being one of those things which are 
never refused, it was accepted, and gave rise 
to a journey to Italy, in which I j^articipated. 
The prospect of visiting that classic land of the 
arts and poetry made me happy. Moreover, 
I liked the life which I was to lead ; I found 
it amusing, and I glided agreeably into a sys- 
tem so varied and altogether novel to me. 
The berlin in which I was placed brought me 
in contact with three persons entirely to my 
taste. These were General Lemarrois, Aid- 
de-camp to the Emperor; the Count de Thiars, 
Chamberlain ; and General Defrance, INIaster of 
the Horse to liis Majesty, Our characters and 
habits agreed astonishingly ; thus our journey 
from Paris to Milan was an agreeable holiday. 

Our duties, on arriving at the towns wliere 
their jNIajesties were to pass the night, or to 
continue more tlian a day, were to direct, each 
according to our office, the necessary arrange- 
ments for the provision of their Majesties, and 
of all the persons in their suite. Generally, 


the apartments for their Majesties were pre- 
viously prepared in the hotels of the prefec- 
tures. On no occasion did the owners of the 
houses occupied bear the expense ; all the 
charges were defrayed by the purveyor pre- 
vious to departing. Magnificent festivals, and 
ample presents, compensated fully for the con- 
fusion inevitable on such an occasion. 

Every one who accompanied their Majesties 
found, on arriving at the different places, the 
necessary information respecting their lodgings. 
A large roll, upon which were inscribed their 
names and the addresses of the houses they 
were to occupy, was affixed to the door of the 
vestibule. The Imperial Palace was the point 
of general meeting. The ladies of the palace, 
the great officers, and the officers of the house- 
hold, were served at the same table ; in short, 
the ceremonies of the Tuiieries were observed 
throughout the journey. Napoleon alone em- 
ployed his time in a different manner. In the 
towns where he remained only a single night, 
he received the local authorities either before 
or after his dinner. He attended at these audi- 
ences which were always interesting, and it 
might be said familiar ; it was on these occa- 
sions that he evinced the greatest kindness. 
No one ever retired from his presence without 


being impressed with feelings of gratitude and 
admiration. These sentiments were so much 
the more just, as no one ever carried to a 
greater height than he did, the art of address- 
ing persons on the subjects with which tliey 
were the most connected. That simplicity 
of manners and of language, that profound 
acquaintance with localities and all the de- 
partments of the administration, both civil and 
military, astonish even more perhaps than 
those lofty acts which appertain to history. 
On these occasions he refused nothintx for real 
wants, and even for the embellishments of plea- 
sure : he left every where traces of the noble- 
ness of his thoughts, and of the goodness of his 
heart ; it is unquestionably in such conduct, 
that one of the causes will be found to explain 
the attachment and the sympathy with which 
he w^as honoured in his misfortunes. 

In the towns where Napoleon passed more 
than a day, after his breakfast and the audience, 
he mounted his horse and viewed the fortifica- 
tions, and other monuments which could add 
to his knowledge of the localities. The even- 
ngs commonly terminated with fetes, concerts, 
or balls, which were given by the inhabitants. 

When we arrived at the foot of Mount Co- 
ma it was necessary to take the equipages to 

VOL. n. D 


pieces, to place them upon mules, and to take 
our seats in chairs to be carried to the monk- 
ish hospital, where we passed the night. Napo- 
leon had a particular regard for those good 
monks, who, almost always encompassed with 
ice and snow, consecrate their lives to the relief 
of humanity. Those venerable missionaries of 
love and of charity, often received from that 
Prince gratuities and considerable succours. 
Some years after, a grand and magnificent 
route was formed in this barren soil, by the 
directions of Napoleon. The acclivity was so 
easy towards the close of 1814, that the horse 
which drew my carriage ascended at a sharp 
trot, and descended without its being necessary 
to lock the wheel. 

We remained some time at Stupinets, be- 
cause Napoleon waited for the Pope, who was 
returning to Rome, and was to pass one or two 
days at Turin. Perhaps, too, our stay was pro- 
longed in order to give the grand deputation 
time to arrive at Milan, and to prepare every 
thing for the reception of the new sovereign. 

We halted for some days at Alexandria. A 
body of five-and-twenty thousand men was 
encamped upon the very spot whei'e the battle 
of Marengo had been fought. The day (June 


14, 1805), which dawned beautifully and se- 
renely, was one of the anniversaries of that bat- 
tle, the consequences of which were so impor- 
tant and so immense. The Emperor was to 
exhibit with the troops a part of the manoeuvres 
which took place at the real engagement. 
Napoleon, who on ordinary occasions was ex- 
tremely simple in his dress, and who never wore 
any other uniform than that of Colonel of Chas- 
seurs of the guards, or of the grenadiers, re- 
ceived us on his rising, clothed in an old uni- 
form of a general officer in the time of the Con- 
sulate, threadbare, and in some places torn. 
He held in his hand a large old gold-laced hat 
pierced with holes. I learned on quitting the 
chamber of the Emperor, that the dress and hat 
were those which he wore on the day of the 
battle of Marengo, and that the holes which I 
observed were made by the balls of the Aus- 
trians. My astonishment ceased. The most 
magnificent mantle would have appeared to me 
mean after those historical vestments. Napo- 
leon passed a part of the day in manoeuvring 
the troops ; and a pavilion was constructed 
with a throne upon it for the P^mpress Jose- 
phine, who assisted in the distribution of the 
crosses of the legion-of-honour, which the Em- 

D 2 


peror himself presented to the soldiers who had 
been fixed upon. When all the troops had 
defiled before their majesties, they returned to 
Alexandria, and admitted to their table the 
general officers and colonels who commanded 
the camp. 



First Performance of the Templars at St. Cloud ; Napoleon 
criticises it to M. de Fontanes — Napoleon sets out for 
Boulogne — Wagers laid for and against the Descent on 
England — Fulton, the inventor of steam-boats, proposes 
to Napoleon the Trial of his New Discoveries — IMadame 
de Stael — Preparations for the Campaign of 1805. 

The court returned to St. Cloud, and it was 
then that the tragedy of " The Templars" was 
played. The first representation of it had 
taken place at the Theatre Fran^ais during our 
visit to Italy. The different newspapers had 
spoken of it in such different manners that I 
was impatient to see it, and the effect it would 
produce upon Iv^apoleon. During the acting 
it was easy to observe that he did not partici- 
pate in the excessive admiration displayed by 
the partisans of the author ; and he expressed 
his opinion without reserve, the same evening, 
to M. de Fontanes, who attended, as I did, at 
the evening audience. 


On retiring to my apartments I set down 
the substance of the opinions which I had 
heard him deliver; and this recapitulation, 
which presents a kind of criticism on the work, 
will show the clearness of Napoleon's mind, 
the excellence of his tact, and the depth of his 
judgment. M. de Remusat, as well as myself, 
was present at the conversation, and two days 
after I showed him the extract I am about to 
give, when he assured me that I had faithfully 
reported the opinion, and sometimes even the 
expressions of Napoleon. 

" He had a difficulty in understanding how 
the tragedy had produced so great and varied 
an effect ; for it did not appear to him to be 
either worthy of exalted praise or of severe 
censure. He was more than ever astonished 
at the warmth which was evinced on such sub- 
jects, and he regarded these extravagant ebul- 
litions as the incurable weakness of the French. 
The piece, in general, appeared to him ex- 
tremely cold, because nothing either came from 
or went to the heart. The author, forgetting that 
the genuine object of tragedy is to excite and 
soften an audience, is too desirous (said he) to 
give an opinion upon an occurrence which will 
always be enveloped in obscurity, because it is 
impossible to throw any light upon it. How 


is it practicable, after a lapse of five hundred 
years, to decide whether the Templars were in- 
nocent or guilty, when the contemporary au- 
thors themselves are divided upon the subject, 
and are even in actual contradiction one with 
the other ? All tliat can be said is, that it was 
a monstrous and inexplicable affair. The en- 
tire innocence or the entire guilt of the Tem- 
plars is equally incredible ; and would it then 
be so painful to continue in doubt, when it is 
evident that all the research in the world could 
not produce a satisfactory result ?" 

Here M. de Fontanes made some remark 
which I could not catch, and the Emperor con- 

" For my part I think that if the author, 
since he wished to treat of such a subject, 
had been content to have adapted those histo- 
rical facts which are equally admitted by all 
parties, he might have given a strength and 
dramatic colouring to his tragedy of which it 
is entirely destitute. 

" The character of Philip the Fair, a violent 
and impetuous prince, carried away b)* his pas- 
sions, absolute in all his desires, implacable in 
his enmities, and jealous to an extreme of his 
authority, might be adapted to theatrical pur- 
poses ; and such a character would have been 


in accordance with history. Instead of that, 
M. Renouard, in otlier respects a very excel- 
lent author, and gifted with great talent, repre- 
sents him as a man without passion, as the 
cool friend of justice, and as having no reason 
either to like or to hate the Templars ; as one 
who trembles before an inquisitor, and seems, 
merely as a matter of form, to ask from the 
Templars an act of submission and respect. 
Above all, the author appears to have neglected 
a classical maxim, which is established on a 
perfect knowledge of the human heart : it is 
this, that the hero of a tragedy, in order to 
interest us, should neither be wholly guilty nor 
w^holly innocent. He might, without depart- 
ing from the historical facts, have made a happy 
application of these principles to the Grand-mas- 
ter of the Templars ; but he wished to represent 
him as a model of ideal perfection, and upon 
the stage ideal perfection is always cold and 
uninteresting. Instead of that, he had only to 
say, as the fact is, that the Grand-master had 
been weak enough to make confessions ; it 
might be from fear or the hope of preserving 
his order, and afterwards to represent him as 
restored to honour by a happy exercise of cou- 
rage and virtue, and as retracting his former 
confessions at the sight of the fatal pile Avhich 

napoleon's criticisms. 41 

awaited him. All weakness and all contradic- 
tions are unhappily in the heart of man, and 
present a colouring eminently tragic. I know 
that in all ages the niunber gifted with holy 
inspiration is very few ; but what would have 
been the effect among us, of the author's repre- 
senting the young Templars pious, unbending, 
and courageous, in the height of their mis- 
fortune, and adoring the wrathful hand of Pro- 
vidence, which punished them for having de- 
generated from the virtues of their ancestors, by 
an abuse of their power and their wealth ? All 
these facts are admitted in history both by the 
accusers and the defenders of the Templars. 

" Why has the author neglected to excite 
our sensibility, by the exhibition of those great 
vicissitudes of fortune, which overthrow at a 
blow grandeur, that in appearance was most 
solidly established, and plunged men who were 
distinguished by their brilliant services and il- 
lustrious birth, into misfortune? All these 
considerations, wlien they flow naturally from 
the subject, and are not set fortli with affecta- 
tion, or in a common-place manner, invariably 
touch the heart of the spectator. 

" Tlie love of young Marigny is completely 
insignificant, and cannot interest, for the object 
is unknown. It has not the slightest connexion 


with the action of the piece, and would not be 
thought of, unless the actor took the trouble to 
inform the world that he was, or had been, 
in love. 

" History also furnishes the author with 
strong materials for giving a powerfvd and 
decisive character to two such ministers as 
Nogaret and Enguerrand ; but he has pre- 
ferred making them two inferior members of 

In the part of Queen Joanna he was willing 
to play the courtier, and some of the verses as- 
signed to her lead to that conclusion. 

" In other respects the tragedy is naturally 
written, and contains some fine verses and 
thoughts happily expressed. Nevertheless, I 
continue to think that it ought to be looked 
upon in the same way as the affair of the Tem- 
plars ; and that it is neither so good nor so bad 
as has been pretended, just as the Templars 
were probably not so innocent or so guilty as 
they have been made to appear. It is even 
probable, that if GeofFroi had not attacked it 
so severely in his paper, so much would never 
have been said in its behalf." 

I do not think I am mistaken as to the 
meaning in this report of Napoleon's opinion. 
It should be remembered, that the tragedy oc- 


casioned a species of civil war in the republic of 
letters. Napoleon, while at INIilan, had read all 
the articles in the papers, both for and against it, 
and even said one day, " That to judge from 
the fury of the parties, there was reason to fear 
that each meant to burn its adversaries Hke the 
Templars." I trust that the publication of this 
note will not be at all offensive to M. Renouard. 
Such discussions are not originated by medio- 
crity, and they serve to prove the merit of his 
tragedy. Napoleon looked at all things in a 
political point of view. 

A short time afterwards, Napoleon set out 
for the camp at Boulogne, where immense pre- 
parations were making for a descent upon Eng- 
land. I accompanied the Empress Josephine 
to the waters of Plombieres. Wagers were 
offered — Will or will not the descent take 
place ?— I had thought for a long while that 
that vast project would not be executed, and 
that Napoleon never could have intended to 
attempt it, unless it was facilitated by a civil 
war in England, or some unforeseen accident. 
I had always considered the immense prepara- 
tions as a means of injuring those islanders ; 
that it was a good policy to put them to incal- 
culable expenses ; to keep them in a state of 


continual inquietude, and thus to force them 
to extreme measures, capable of disturbing 
their tranquillity, and overthrowing that ma- 
gical credit, which forms one of the bases of 
the power of the English Government. Such 
was then the general opinion and mine as to 
the purport of those immense threatenings ; 
but I have since had strong reasons to change. 
I am induced to believe that the idea of a 
descent really existed, that all the plans were 
actually concerted, and that, but for the error 
of the Admiral commanding the French fleet, 
it would, I will not say have succeeded, but 
have been seriously attempted. That Admiral 
had received orders to repair with his fleet to 
the West Indies, and to pursue so changeable 
and irregular a course as to be completely lost 
sight of, in order to draw off the English fleets, 
and to throw them into such a state of uncer- 
tainty, as to render it impossible for them to 
find him, or to conceive where he was. He 
had likewise received orders to return with all 
speed, to envelope his course in the greatest 
mystery, to unite with the Spanish fleet, and 
those which were stationed at Corunna and 
Rochefort, and rushing with a mass of seventy 
large ships into the Channel, to annihilate all 
the flotillas of observation in which England 


confided so much, and finally to clear the pas- 
sage, and facilitate the irruption and inva- 
sion of the French armies. Admiral Werhuel, 
Commander-in-chief of the Dutch fleet, had 
prepared the way, and forced the English squa- 
dron of observation to retreat. That Admiral, 
whose least praise was his bravery and his ta- 
lent, waited at Ambleteuse, near the camp of 
Boulogne, to shelter our embarkations, and to 
forward this gigantic scene. But the French 
Admiral lost three-and-twenty days in block- 
adino; and attackino' I know not now what 
island ; he was followed by Nelson, and it was 
only through the strength of the winds that he 
escaped him to take refuge, and shut himself 
up in the port of Cadiz. At the time appointed 
for the return, one of Napoleon's aids-de-camp 
was stationed on a high light-house, with his 
telescope continually on the stretch, endea- 
vourinor to discover the arrival of the French 
and Spanish fleets. Thus the enterprise failed. 
The consequences of success would have been 
incalculable. It is sufficient to call to mind 
that Eno;land was the centre and the focus of 
all the coalitions, and that all the wars of the 
Continent against France have been paid for by 
her gold, and the immense subsidies which she 
gave to our enemies. At that period those sub- 


sidies caused the war with Austria, who, with- 
out any preliminary declaration, invaded Bava- 
ria, and prepared new triumphs for French 

I have been informed that Fulton, the in- 
ventor of steam-boats, offered to Napoleon the 
trial of his new discoveries. The proposition 
of the Anglo-American was not favourably re- 
ceived. The preparations for the descent were 
made; to have changed the system adopted 
would have required time, delay, new con- 
structions, and much money, before it could 
have been possible to give a positive guaran- 
tee for success. Experience had not then, as 
it has now, shown the possibility of crossing 
the Channel in a few hours. Fulton returned 
to America, made his experiments on the im- 
mense lakes of Canada ; and the work of his 
genius was soon scattered over the whole globe. 

July, 1805. 
No remarkable event occurred at Court after 
the return of their INIajesties. I only learned 
that Madame de Stael intended to visit Paris, 
to enjoy the success of her romance of " Del- 
phine;" but that she was prevented by her 
friends in Paris, who advised her not to quit 


Geneva, because Napoleon, to whom some 
pages of the romance had been read, had con- 
sidered it very wrong that she should declaim 
against the Catholic religion, while he was 
labouring to re-establish it in France. 

About that time, tlie armies filed off rapidly 
towards the Rhine. When they arrived at 
Strasbourg we set out to join them. I was 
appointed to be in attendance about the Em- 
press, who was to hold her court there for 
some time. Napoleon passed the Rhine with 
his army, and soon commenced that memora- 
ble campaign which was finished by the peace 
of Presbourg. 



Return of Napoleon to France — M. Denon presents him 
with Medals upon the Campaign of Austerlitz — Conversa- 
tion on the Subject — The Emperor gives orders to place a 
Battery of Twenty Pieces of Cannon at the Command of 
the General-in-Chief of the Finances — Conquest of the 
Kingdom of Naples — Omens of the Campaign of 1806; — 
Commencement of that War — Caricatures found at Berlin 
— Suspension of Hostilities — Proposal to assemble a Con- 
gress at Copenhagen ; Refusal on the Part of Russia — 
Renewal of Hostilities; — Friedland, Eylau — Peace of 
Tilsit — Manner in which Napoleon lived when with the 
Army — The Prince of Neufchatel — Bulletins of the Grand 

Napoleon returned to Paris to pass through 
a round of brilliant fetes. Never was any thing 
more calculated to excite enthusiasm than were 
those wonderful events, which, surpassing all 
ordinary transactions, imparted to history itself 
the appearance of fable, and exhibited as in 
a magic glass, a change in all the scenery of 
empires, kingdoms, courts, and people. In the 


midst of this general rejoicing, in the delirium 
of which I confess I partook most heartily, I 
ought not to forget that Napoleon, when din- 
ing at Strasbourg, and conversing with Mar- 
shal Kellermann on the events of the campaign, 
so gloriously terminated, expressed himself in 
a manner respecting Prussia, which declared 
that he would not long delay making it repent 
of its equivocal policy. " I have no fear of 
Prussia," said he, *' because I have no appre- 
hension of a power which is obliged to recruit 
its army in foreign countries. My army, on 
the contrary, is composed of faithful and en- 
lightened countrymen, and of proprietors at- 
tached to the national glory by all the ties of 
honour and of duty." 

A few days after our return, the Emperor 
being at St. Cloud, I asked him, during his 
breakfast, if he would be pleased to receive 
M. Denon, inspector of medals, who was de- 
sirous of presenting those which he had struck 
in commemoration of the achievements of the 
memorable campaign of Austerlitz. In accor- 
dance with his command, I introduced M. De- 
non, who held in his hands a number of me- 
dals. The series commenced with the depar- 
ture of the army from the camp at Boulogne, 
on its march to tlic Rhine. The first repre- 



sented on one side the bust of Napoleon, and 
on the other, a French eagle holding an Eng- 
lish lion. " What does this mean ?" said 
Napoleon. " Sire," said M. Denon, " it is the 
French eagle, stifling with his talons the lion, 
which is one of the attributes of the arms 
of England." I was seized with admiration, 
when I saw Napoleon throw the golden medal 
with violence to the end of the chamber, say- 
ing to M. Denon — " Vile flatterer ! How dare 
you say that the French eagle stifles the Eng- 
lish lion ? I cannot launch upon the sea a 
single petty fishing-boat but she is captured 
by the English. It is in reality the lion that 
stifles the French eagle. Cast the medal into 
the foundry, and never bring me such another!" 
Looking over the other medals, and taking up 
that relating to the battle of Austerlitz, he cen- 
sured the composition, and again commanded 
poor M. Denon to melt it : — " On one side 
merely put, ' The Battle of Austerlitz,' with 
its date, and on the other, the French eagle, 
with those of Austria and of Russia. Be as- 
sured, posterity will well know how to distin- 
guish the conqueror." The modest thought of 
Napoleon, however, was not executed to the 
fuU ; instead of the eagles, the efligies of the 
three emperors were introduced. From this I 


may be believed when I say, that the greater 
part of those proud inscriptions, of those exces- 
sive eulogiums, published with so much show, 
and displayed upon so many public monu- 
ments, were not at all in accordance with the 
taste of Napoleon, and were still less his choice. 
Few men of his station have possessed so 
much modesty and simplicity. It was this 
feelinff of reserve which made him refuse INIar- 
shal Kellermann, who appeared as the organ of 
a great body of citizens, permission to raise, at 
their own expense, a monument entirely to his 
glory. Napoleon "desired to merit that ho- 
mage from his subjects by his whole life." 
Such was his reply; and although his statue 
surmounted the column of the Place Vendome, 
it is certain that his first desire was to erect it 
to the glory alone of the French army. The 
statue was to have been that of Peace. The 
architect, Poyet, proposed to raise, by subscrip- 
tion, a triumphal cohunn in honour of tlie Em- 
peror, but he could not obtain permission to 
proceed ; and if the famous column constructed 
with the cannons purchased by victory inspires 
admiration, the sixty-five fountains, which du- 
ring the same year first flowed in the capital, 
excite gratitude, and prove that Napoleon was 
always more occupied with monuments of 

E 2 


public utility, than with those of vain glory. 
During his government, all that conduced to 
the general good, all that was grand and useful 
in the administration, proceeded from him ; 
whilst all that I should call the luxury of glory 
was the natural consequence of that vital im- 
pulse which he had given to the fine arts, and 
of that impassioned admiration which was the 
sweetest reward for so many victories, and so 
many triumphs. 

The cannons taken at Austerlitz did not 
serve only to form the column of the Place 
Vendome, one of the finest monuments of 
modern times. One day, at the council of the 
ministers, the Duke of Gaeta, then minister of 
finances, applied to the Emperor for twenty 
of them. " What," said Napoleon, laughing, 
" would our minister of finances make war with 
us ?" " Not with you. Sire," replied the minister, 
" but against some old and worn out machines, 
distressing and dangerous to the workmen em- 
ployed in coining money ; if your majesty will 
condescend to grant me those twenty cannons, 
chosen from among the worst, I will have made 
out of them new instruments for striking the 
impression for the whole of the mint, upon 
more approved and convenient models than the 


present ; and if your Majesty will so far authorise 
me, the name of Austerlitz shall be engraved 
upon each of these machines." The name of 
a battle so celebrated and so glorious to the 
French army decided the Emperor, and he 
instantly gave the minister of war an order to 
place a battery of twenty cannons at the dis- 
posal of his general-in- chief of the finances. 
These instruments still serve to strike the effi- 
gies of our kings. The Duke of Gaeta was 
one of the ministers who preserved the confi- 
dence of the Emperor from the foundation of 
the Consulate to the fall of the empire in 1814. 
That long and brilliant epoch was distinguished 
by an administration so wise, so enlightened, 
so profound, and so disinterested, that it is 
really right to censure that venerable conductor 
of our finances, for the excess of modesty which 
has prevented him from mentioning in the me- 
moirs he has published, any of the good which 
he effected. 

In order to explain the invasion of the king- 
dom of Naples, it is necessary to say that, for a 
length of time, Napoleon was apprised of the 
secret and intimate communications which that 
government carried on, contrary to the faith of 
treaties, with the court of I^ondon. These re- 


ports had been at last so public, that during the 
first month of the campaign of Austerlitz, of 
which the king, or rather the queen, assuredly 
could not foresee the issue, that government, 
without any preliminary notifications, received 
in its ports twelve English and Russia vessels, 
having on board fifteen thousand men, who, 
united with the Neapolitan troops, were to make 
a diversion in Italy ; a diversion which was an- 
nihilated by the rapidity of the victories of the 
French army ; but England and Russia being 
at war with France, the Neapolitan court was 
to answer for the consequences of such an in- 
fraction. On becoming acquainted with it, the 
French Ambassador demanded his passports, 
and retired to Rome. After the campaign of 
Austerlitz, Napoleon sent a powerful army, and 
placed at the head of it Prince Joseph, who in 
a few months after was acknowledged King of 
Naples. The old court had not waited for his 
approach, but had retired into Sicily, where it 
soon experienced all the exigencies and sacrifices 
that the dependence on an ally so careful of its 
interests as England can impose. It is just to 
say, that Napoleon was very rarely the ag- 

On the side to the north of Germany, great 

CAMPAIGN OF 1806. 55 

clouds were rising. The Emperor Alexander, 
anxious to revenge the defeats which he suf- 
fered during the campaign of Austria, and 
little touched with the moderation of the con- 
queror, who had restored to him his prisoners, 
and who had permitted him to retire from a 
troublesome situation, in which even his person 
was positively compromised, without exacting 
any thing from him but his peaceable return to 
his own dominions — the Emperor Alexander, 
I say, little satisfied with his alliance with Aus- 
tria, which a temporary weakness had compel- 
led to be inactive, formed an alliance with Prus- 
sia. That alliance was intermingled witli so 
many chivalrous and dramatic scenes, that it 
was impossible to doubt tliat war was about 
to recommence, of no less magnitude than vio- 
lence. Immense preparations were made on 
both sides. 

For some days Napoleon was entirely occu- 
pied with geographical charts, and when he had 
acquired an exact knowledge of the positions 
of the enemy, I heard him say, " On the 8th, 
the army will be in the presence of the enemy ; 
on the lOtli, I shall beat them at Scafeld ; 
they will retire to Jena and AViemar, wlierc I 
shall beat them again; on the 14th or 1.5th, 
I shall have destroyed the Prussian army, and 


before the end of the month, my victorious 
eagles will be in Berlin." 

If Russia could have transported its multi- 
tudes with the flight of a bird, its alliance 
would have been of immense weight in the 
enemy's army ; but as all its marches were ar- 
ranged, Prussia was compelled to bear the first 
shock and to succumb ; there was, therefore, 
only its wreck which the Russian auxiliary 
army gathered together when it arrived at 

The annihilation of Prussia was so rapid, 
that the police had not time to direct the 
tradesmen to conceal the innumerable carica- 
tures and engravings which the French found 
exhibited in all the shops. One of them, and 
that, too, the one which was most generally cir- 
culated, represented the scene of the oath taken 
upon the sepulchre of Frederick II. On one 
side were seen the Emperor Alexander and 
the beautiful Queen of Prussia with her hand 
pressing upon her heart ; and on the other, her 
husband the king stretching his hand forth 
from the tomb. It only wanted the genius of 
England, the true instigator of all the discords 
which disturbed Europe. 


The campaign of Austerlitz had created the 
kings of Bavaria, Wurtemberg, &c. ; that of 
Jena founded the kingdom of Saxony, and 
caused all the reigning branches of that noble 
house to enter into the confederation of the 
Rhine ; and at a subsequent period, the treaty 
of Tilsit placed the crown of Westphalia on 
the head of Prince Jerome. 

During the brief interval of repose, proposals 
were made for holding a congress at Copen- 
hagen, whither all the belligerent powers were 
to send ministers, in order to conclude a general 
peace. The interest of France induced her to 
treat upon the grounds of equality and recipro- 
city, and to require the admission of Turkey, 
which he considered as her ally ; but those 
bases were rejected by Russia, and the war con- 
tinued. After the conquest of Dantzic, vic- 
torious France ought no longer to have indulg- 
ed in those deceitful hopes, for, in gaining some 
weeks, Russia had no other object than to form 
arrangements for its provisioning, which had 
become the more necessary since the defeats of 
the Prussian army, thrown back beyond the 
Vistula. The battle of Eylau renewed the 
round of victories, and that of Friedland com- 


pelled the Russian army to retreat, and to look 
to its own defence. 

The battle of Friedland was fouoht on the 
14th of June, one of the anniversaries of the 
battle of JNlarengo. 

This glorious campaign was concluded by 
the peace signed at Tilsit, on the banks of the 
Niemen, the frontier of Russia : the King of 
Prussia possessed only the country between the 
Niemen and the IMemel. If Napoleon had been 
ambitious ! ! ! 

Napoleon's manner of living when with the 
army, was simple and without show. Every 
individual, whatever might be his station, had 
a right to approach and address him concerning 
his interests ; he heard, interrogated, and de- 
cided at once ; if it was a refusal, the reasons 
were explained in a manner which softened the 
disappointment. I was never able to behold, 
without admiration, the simple soldier quit his 
rank, as his regiment filed off before the Em- 
peror, approach him with a serious measured 
step, and presenting arms, place himself im- 
mediately before his commander. Napoleon al- 
ways received the petition, read it entirely 
through, and granted all proper requests. That 


noble privilege which he had bestowed upon bra- 
very and courage, inspired every soldier with 
a feeling of his consequence and of his duty, 
and at the same time served as a curb to re- 
strain those among the superiors who might 
have been inclined to abuse their power. 

The simplicity of Napoleon's character and 
manners was particularly remarkable when the 
march was easy and uninterrupted by action ; 
always on horseback, in the midst of his ge- 
nerals, his gallant aide-de-camp, the officers of 
his household, and of his staff of young and 
valiant officers, his gaiety, I had almost ven- 
tured to say his good fellowship, diffused itself 
into every heart. He often gave the command 
to halt, and sat down under a tree with the 
Prince of Neufcluitel. The provisions were 
spread before him, and every body, even from 
the page up to the great officers, one way or 
another, got every thing that he required. It 
was truly a f^te for every one of us. Napo- 
leon, by dismissing from about him every thing 
which had any resemblance to intrigue, had in- 
spired the whole of his household with a feeling 
of affection, of union, and of reciprocal good- 
will, which made all our stations comfortable. 
The frugality of Napoleon was such, that his 
taste gave the preference to the most simple 


and the least seasoned dishes ; as ceufs au miroir 
and haricots en salacle. His breakfast was al- 
most always composed of one of these dishes and 
a little parmesan cheese. At dinner he eat lit- 
tle, rarely of ragouts, and always of wholesome 
things. I have often heard him say, " that how- 
ever little nourishment people took at dinner, 
they always took too much." Thus his head 
was always clear, and his labour easy, even when 
he rose from table. Gifted by nature with a per- 
fectly healthy stomach, his nights were as calm 
as those of an infant ; nature, also, had bestow- 
ed on him a constitution so admirably suited to 
his station, that a single hour of sleep would res- 
tore him after four-and-twenty hours' fatigue. 
In the midst of the most serious and urgent 
events, he had the power of resigning himself to 
sleep at pleasure, and his mind enjoyed the 
most perfect calm, as soon as directions were 
given for the necessary arrangements. 

The Prince of Neufchatel had also a dispo- 
sition suited to the eminent rank which he 
occupied about Napoleon ; the projects, the 
plans, the commands, the wishes of the Em- 
peror, were all confided to, and executed by 
the Prince. Every night he was awakened 
and called for five or six times, and he was al- 
ways on waking cheerful, agreeable, and without 


peevishness : he was in reality a piece of me- 
chanism, wliose springs the Emperor moved 
at his pleasure. The attachment of the Prince 
to the person of Napoleon was such, that lie 
would not accept of the crown of Sweden, 
which he could easily have obtained : it was 
from himself that I learned that fact. It is, 
however, right to say, that the most magnifi- 
cent u'ifts and vast indemnities ensured him a 
life sufficiently brilliant to make him prefer, 
without regret, his attachment to his ambi- 
tion. Amorous as in the days of ancient 
chivalry, having in former times transported 
to the bin'ning soil of Egypt the impas- 
sioned worship which he rendered to the por- 
trait of his beautiful mistress, and, returning 
always faithful and always constant, he could 
never decide voluntarily to separate himself 
from the object of so many vows : friendship 
and love alone decided his destiny. 

Every moment of the day was a moment 
of labour for Napoleon, when even with the 
army. If he ceased for an instant to consult 
the charts, to aiTange the plans of battle, and 
to meditate upon the prodigious combinations 
which it was necessary to employ in order to 
move with mathematical precision a mass of 


from four to five hundred thousand men, he 
occupied liimself witli the domestic adminis- 
tration of the empire. Several times in the 
course of the week a messenger arrived at the 
Imperial quarters from the Council of State, 
charged with dispatches from all the ministers, 
and never was the labour of inspection post- 
poned until the morrow ; every thing was 
examined during the day, signed, and for- 
warded : all things moved on together. The 
days which succeeded a skirmish, an action, or 
a battle, were employed in receiving the re- 
ports from the different corps of the army, in 
uniting together all the isolated facts, in dis- 
tributing to each his proper share of the glory, 
in digesting, in a word, those immortal bulletins, 
which, through their concision, clearness, order, 
and manly simplicity, present a classic model 
of military eloquence. It is in those brilliant 
archives that the titles of the French army to 
renown are for ever engraved. By a remarka- 
ble singularity, those bulletins, sent to Paris 
to be printed, were read and admired by all 
France, before they reached the army, which 
only became acquainted with them on the 
arrival of the journals from the capital. It 
must be regretted, however, that several of 
those documents, especially those which have 


reference to the beautiful Queen of Prussia, 
should have been written with anger and with- 
out courtesy ; and they would even be with- 
out excuse, if the violent and injurious provo- 
cations which Napoleon received were not re- 



Premature death of the eldest son of Queen Hortensia. — 
First idea of the divorce of Napoleon. — Death of the last 
Stuart. — JMadame de Bonchamps, widow of the celebrated 
General, has a private audience with the Emperor. — The 
Abbe Fournier, Bishop of IMontpellier, converses with Na- 
poleon on theological subjects. — Josephine at Fontaine- 
bleau. — Plan for the Royal Family of Spain to go to 

The young Prince Napoleon, the eldest son 
of the Queen of Holland, died during the cam- 
paign of 1806-7. He had attained his seventh 
year, and gave indications of a most happy 
disposition, and of a sweetness and flexibility of 
character, which would have rendered him sus- 
ceptible of receiving the most noble impressions. 
Being the first born of the new dynasty, he 
attracted all the solicitude, and all the tender- 
ness of its chief. Malignity and envy, which 
always strive to revenge themselves on distin- 
guished superiority, have invented calumnious 


explanations of that almost parental attach- 
ment ; but men of integrity discover only in 
that adoptive tenderness, a regard for posterity, 
and the hope to transmit his power to an in- 
heritor of his name, whose education he was 
desirous of directing himself. The death of 
young Napoleon, like an omen of misfortune, 
came in the midst of the round of glory, and 
induced Napoleon to concentrate his hopes, and 
the inheritance of so many victories, in himself 
alone and his direct line. This was, I think, 
the moment when the first idea occurred of a 
divorce, which took place two years afterwards, 
and which began to be privately talked about 
during the journey to Fontainebleau, in 1807. 

The Cardinal of York died at Rome, on the 
13th of July. His mortal remains were depo- 
sited in the choir of the chapel of St. Peter, 
where those of his father, James III., already 
rested. The body of Prince Charles Edward, 
brother of the Cardinal of York, which had 
been buried at Frascati, was, in accordance witli 
the last will of the prelate, removed to the 
chapel of St. Peter. The tomb thus closed 
upon the last of the male lines of the illustrious 
and unfortunate family of the Stuarts ; and 
death thus swept away all the high and un- 



successful pretensions to the crown of Eng- 
land. Prince Charles Edward, known by the 
name of the Pretender, grown old and retired 
to Rome, was afflicted with the gout, and 
during its attacks he never ceased to exclaim, 
" Poor king ! poor king ! ! !" He was little 
visited by the English, and a French gentle- 
man exj)ressing his astonishment : " I know 
the reason," said he ; " they imagine that I am 
still mindful of what is passed. I should see 
them, however, with pleasure, notwithstand- 
ing; I love my subjects, though 1 never see 

Napoleon, at my request, granted a private 
audience to INIadame de Bonchamps, widow of 
the celebrated Commander-in-chief of the first 
royal army in La Vendue. It was certainly 
far from his intentions to tolerate civil wars ; 
but he recognized so much of nobleness, of ta- 
lent, and of magnanimity in the conduct and 
character of the Count de Bonchamps, that he 
never spoke of him but in the most honourable 

Napoleon conversed with much interest with 
Madame de Bonchamps, and asked her all man- 
ner of questions respecting the war of La Ven- 
dee ; and he dj-ew from her a relation of all the 


dangers she had experienced in accompanying 
her husband to the field of battle, carrying her 
child in a basket placed upon the horse on 
which she was mounted, and supporting with 
courage and dignity all the fatigues and all 
the chances of so extraordinary a situation. 
Madame de Bonchamps is little and delicate, 
but she has a most noble heart, and the most 
elevated sentiments. Napoleon did not con- 
fine himself to vague and obliging words ; he 
insisted upon knowing her circumstances, and 
what means the misfortunes of the time had 
spared her ; and when he learned that she pos- 
sessed nothing, he instantly assigned her a pen- 
sion of six thousand francs, with the payment 
of two years' arrears, and promised to give her 
daughter a dowry when she should be of an 
age to be married. 

I have thought it right to insert these details 
of the audience Madame de Bonchamps ob- 
tained of the Emperor, in order to supply the 
silence of Madame de Genlis upon the subject, 
and to render that to Napoleon which is his 
due. Madame de Bonchamps will not surely 
feel offended that I betray the secret of her 

After levee, July 22, 1806, the Emperor de- 

F 2 


sired his almoner, the Abbe Founiier, who had 
been appointed Archbishop of Montpellier, to 
remain ; and he talked with him for a long 
while upon matters of theology, a kind of con- 
versation which he liked extremely. The Bi- 
shop of Montpellier, perceiving that Napoleon 
sought for nothing but explanations, thought 
it right to take tiie utmost advantage of the 
opportunity which presented itself for infusing 
religious sentiments into the mind of the Em- 
peror ; and at once advanced with ardour all 
those thoughts and inspirations, which could 
lead to the result he so much desired. Napo- 
leon, without partaking of the enthusiasm of 
the prelate, was not the less satisfied with his 
goodness and his zeal. There were, however, 
two points upon which, above all, they could 
not agree ; that of hell, and that of no salva- 
tion out of the pale of the church. The Em- 
peror said to the Empress Josephine, laughing, 
that " he had disputed like a devil upon those 
two points, and upon which the Bishop, on his 
part, had been inexorable." The Bishop of 
Montpellier had for a long time enjoyed the 
reputation of a man distinguished by his vir- 
tues and his talents. He had even become 
celebrated by his sermons, by the extraordinary 
persecutions which they brought upon him, by 
the unaffected and calm courage with which 


he sustained them, and by the road which those 
very persecutions opened to him to the ele- 
vated station which lie now fills. All Paris 
flocked to hear him preach ; and that eagerness 
for some years excited the discontent of the 
police. It was alleged that the sermon on the 
passion of Christ contained some striking allu- 
sions to the deplorable catastrophe of Louis 
XVI. On the report of the INIinister of Police 
he was aiTCsted, thrown into the Bicetre as a 
madman, and shaved, and actually treated like 
one. In the midst of such unjust treatment, 
he continued calm and tranquil. Upon a new 
report of Fouche he was removed and confined 
with the galley-slaves at Turin. He was nei- 
ther more affected nor unhappy than at the 
Bicetre. By the wisdom of his conduct dur- 
ing two years of horrible captivity, he became 
generally venerated. When the late Arch- 
bishop of Auch, M. de Latour du Pin ]\Ion- 
tauban, consented to take the bishopric of 
Troyes, the only recompense which he asked 
for a sacrifice, which was burthensome at his 
great age, was the liberation of the iVbbe 
Fournier, who had been his grand-vicar before 
the Revolution. He obtained it ; and Cardi- 
nal Fesch, who took a great interest in the 
fate of so distinguished a man, desired him to 
stay with him at Lyons, where he preached 


during Lent with the greatest success. Car- 
dinal Fesch afterwards introduced him into 
the imperial chapel; and a short time after- 
wards he was appointed almoner to the Em- 
peror and Bishop of JNlontpellier. 

December 13, 1808. 
It was while Napoleon was on his visit to 
Italy that the opera of " The Vestal'^ was re- 
presented for the first time. The Empress Jo- 
sephine, passionately attached to the arts, and 
above all others to that of music, felt as strongly 
as any one the necessity of introducing on 
our lyric stage, those alterations which taste 
had consecrated in Germany and in Italy, and 
which were principally to be attributed to the 
immortal works of Mozart and Cimarosa. A 
young Italian composer, without patronage, 
without support, without any claim than that 
of being a pupil of the distinguished Cimarosa, 
made his debut at Paris, and displayed great ta- 
lent in several brilliant compositions. La Finta 
Philosofa ; INIilton ; Julia, or the Flower-pot ; 
and The Cottage, had already given great ce- 
lebrity to the name of M. Spontini ; the in- 
different success of the two last works did not 
prevent it from being acknowledged that the 
music contained beauties of the first order. 


and great promise of genius. From that mo- 
ment the good-will, and even the protection of 
the Empress Josephine were extended to M. 
Spontini, and she appointed him her composer. 
I liked botii the talent and the person of Spon- 
tini, and I was persuaded that he required 
nothing to achieve great success, but a poem 
on which he could display the riches of his 
warm imagination, and the resources of a sci- 
ence whose limits he might be said to have ex- 
tended. A chance, to which I was no stranger, 
brought M. Spontini in contact with a literary 
man, who had pursued several kinds of compo- 
sition with eclat. M. de Jouy entrusted him 
with the poem of "TheVestal," and that alliance 
of superior talents produced the most perfect 
opera that has been seen for a length of time 
upon any stage. In fact, the poem is throughout 
remarkable for depicting a grand passion which 
triumphs over all obstacles, over all fears, and 
over all ties, and for that courageous resigna- 
tion, which creates in the mind of the spectator 
those strong and melancholy emotions which 
are the sweetest charm of a dramatic compo- 
sition. The music, from being scientific, pure, 
and melodious in its style, fraught with graces, 
and inspirations happily adapted to the situa- 
tions and the spirit of the poem, has placed the 


name of Spontini on a level with those great 
masters who have illustrated the lyric scene. 
The grand decennial prize which was awarded 
to the authors, proved how enlightened a taste 
the Empress Josephine possessed. That Prin- 
cess removed some obstacles which retarded 
the production of the opera ; and contrary to 
the established custom of tlie Court, she at- 
tended in the royal box at the first representation 
of a work which appeared under her auspices, 
and of which she had accepted the dedication. 
The opera of " Fernandez Cortez" could not but 
add to the triumph of the same authors, and, 
like " The Vestal," it was dedicated to the 
Empress Josephine. It ought to be noticed, 
to the eternal honour of Messrs. de Jouy and 
Spontini, that that homage of their talents to 
their illustrious protectress, was so much the 
more delicate and disinterested because the po- 
litical necessity of the divorce was already, I 
may say, proclaimed. 

Napoleon had flattered himself that the royal 
family of Spain, alarmed at the silent position 
which he maintained in the midst of the in- 
testine dissensions which agitated their king- 
dom, would decide, on seeing the armies of 
France penetrate into the heart of the Penin- 



sula, to seek for a retreat in their South Ame- 
rican colonies, in accordance with the example 
of the family of Braganza, which had aban- 
doned Portiio'al to reign in Brazil. Godoi and 
King Charles both conceived the project. But 
the discontent of the nation was so expressed, 
when they merely announced a journey of the 
Court into Andalusia, that they were obliged 
to renounce it. The royal family of Portugal 
was differently situated : at Lisbon it had ves- 
sels at hand and under the protection of the 
English fleets ; whilst King Charles, having 
his residence in the centre of the kingdom, 
would have been compelled to travel through 
an immense tract of country before he could 
reach a port fit for his embarkation ; and that 
passage would not have been without danger of 
interruption, in consequence of the general ha- 
tred which was entertained against the favou- 
rite, and the security against the measure wliich 
the seizing of the person of the King naturally 



Preparations for a Journey into Spain. — Departure of Napo- 
leon for Bordeaux. — Count Fernand-Nunez at Chatelle- 
raut. — Rapidity of the Journey of Napoleon to Bour- 
deaux, Arrival, and Reception. — Secretary Montholon de- 
spatched to Madrid. — The Emperor gives me two auto- 
graph letters from King Charles, and one from King Fer- 
dinand to translate. — Josephine arrives at Bourdeaux. — 
The Emperor sets out for Bayonne. — The Infant Don 
Carlos at Bayonne. — Napoleon resides at Chateau de Mar- 
ac. — Ferdinand at Irun. — Letter from that Prince to 
Napoleon. — His arrival at Bayonne. — Napoleon visits him. 
— Dinner at the Chateau de Marac. — The Empress Jose- 
phine arrives at Marac. — Intercepting of Correspondence, 

In my situation I could not be ignorant that 
the Emperor intended to visit the southern 
provinces of his empire. A journey even to 
Spain was talked of, and one day during the 
Emperor's breakfast it was openly discussed. 
I had occasion to praise the Spanish language, 


which I found singularly appropriate to the 
noble and haughty character of that nation. 
The Emperor asked me if T had learned it, 
and I replied that formerly I had studied it for 
my amusement, but that I hoped, if he did 
me the honour to intend me to follow him, I 
should find a fit opportunity to exercise myself 
in speaking it well. The conversation went 
no farther. 

[The events which occurred in Spain in 
the early part of this year (1808) — the con- 
spiracy imputed to Ferdinand — the imprison- 
ment of Godoi, the Prince of the Peace, the 
favorite of the King and Queen — the abdication 
of Charles — the advance of the French army 
under the Grand-duke de Berg (Murat) — are 
too well known to require repetition here.] 

The news of the events of Aranjuez found 
us ready to set out. All the preparations had 
been completed some time. I thought, how- 
ever, that there would be some alterations, and 
originally that the Empress Josephine would 
remain at Paris ; but it was arranged that lier 
departure should take place some days after 
that of Napoleon. According to custom, I set 
out four-and-twenty hours in advance, w itli a 


party of attendants who were to stop at Bor- 
deaux ; and when we were at some leagues 
from Chatelleraut, a young traveller, in a shab- 
by post-chaise, signified to the postilions who 
drove my carriage, that he wished to speak 
with the Emperor's officer. He had learned 
who I was by the courier who preceded me. 
I alighted from my carriage after he had made 
me acquainted with his name and rank. It 
was the Count of Fernand-Nunez, sent by the 
King of Spain to the Emperor. We conversed 
for some time as we walked upon the road ; 
he told me that " he was aid-de-camp to the 
King, sent to compliment the Emperor, to ac- 
quaint him with the event of Ferdinand suc- 
ceeding to the crown of Spain, and to see with 
his eyes the niece of the Emperor who was to 
espouse his sovereign." I showed him the list 
of the persons who followed the Emperor, and 
also that of the ladies who were to accompany 
the Empress Josephine, to convince him that 
no princess of the rank with her, whom he was 
to see with his eyes, was comprised in it. From 
his manner I judged that he did not believe I 
was at all in the secret of the affair, and re- 
mained persuaded that he should encounter the 
future bride of his king. We separated : when 
in a month afterwards we saw each other at 


Bayonne, he agreed with me that he had better 
have trusted to what I said, than have persisted 
in a wish to see with his eijes a princess who 
was not even in Paris. I laughingly intreated 
him to tell me how his request had been re- 
ceived at Tours, where I knew he had encoun- 
tered the Emperor. He assumed a serious 
and diplomatic air, and gave me no answer. 
I thought I saw, however, that he looked upon 
the approaching arrival of the niece of the Em- 
press as certain. He was really obstinate. 

The progress of Napoleon was so rapid that 
he arrived at Bordeaux some hours after the 
party with whom I set out. He had left all 
those who accompanied him a long way behind. 
The Duke of Bassano and M. de Champagny, 
their chancery and their interpreters did not ar- 
rive till the next day. Napoleon had no one 
with him but the Prince of Neufchatel, and the 
other "persons arrived successively during the 
night. The evening of his arrival at Bor- 
deaux, Napoleon appeared to be waiting for 
some one. In effect, I saw INI. de Montholon 
arrive from Spain. He was the aide-de-camp 
of the Grand-duke of Berg, and the same, who 
upon the rock of St. Helena, has left to history 
the charge of relating his devotion. Tlie des- 



patches which he brought, among other matters, 
contained two intercepted letters, the one from 
King Charles, and the other from King Ferdi- 
nand. These letters were the originals and in 
Spanish. The Grand-duke supposing that Na- 
poleon would have secretaries about him for 
such purposes, and being in haste, forwarded 
them without their being translated. In the 
anxiety which Napoleon felt to learn the con- 
tents of these letters, and which he imagined to 
be much more important than they really were, 
he remembered what I had said to him at St. 
Cloud of my taste for the Spanish language. 
He called me. " Can you," said he, " give me 
at once a notion of the contents of these two 
letters ?" I asked permission to read them over 
first, and I succeeded afterwards in giving him an 
exact analysis of them. " I thought them more 
important," said he ; " but no matter, take them 
and bring me the translation of them to-morrow 
when I awake." I passed part of the night 
in preparing the translation, and examined it 
several times, fearful lest I should have mis- 
taken the most simple expression. Napoleon 
asked for it when he awoke, and I presented my 
work, with which he appeared satisfied. King 
Charles wrote to his son to remind him of the 
promise he had made to save the life of Godoi". 


That kind old man, concerned only for his 
favourite, asked nothing for himself. I have 
accidentally preserved some phrases of the an- 
swer of Ferdinand ; I say by accident, because 
then I did not take the trouble, as I have done 
since, to keep exact copies of the translations 
which I made. It was dated Madrid, March 
27, and ran as follows : — 

"Sire and august father, I rejoice to learn 
that the health of your Majesty is better, and 
I am thankful for the letter with which you 
have honoured me. I hasten to assure you that 
I am incapable of seeking to afflict you. I have 
promised to protect the life of D. Manuel Go- 
doi. 1 am a man of honour and will not swerve 
from it. The people nevertheless are very 
much alarmed ; they believe that the French 
are only come to Madrid for his protection, and 
to save him. It is necessary to satisfy them ; 
but I beg your INIajesty to rest well assured that 
I will not at all seek to augment your inquie- 
tudes and your fears. I have ordered the rounds 
to be performed with greater exactness, because 
the presence of the French is the pretext for 
much alarm. There has even been a scene of 
disorder after some angry words between a 
Spanish peasant and a French soldier ; but all 
was soon appeased ; had it not been so, there 


would have been much blood spilled, because 
the French are nvimerous not only in IMadrid, 
but throughout Spain. I repress these germs of 
disunion ; and to re-establish tranquillity, I have 
published an official account in order to make 
better known the pacific intentions with which 
the French are animated, &c. &c." 

I was amply recompensed for the pains I had 
taken with my translation, for when the Duke 
of Bassano arrived, Napoleon said to him in my 
presence, that he should have no more occasion 
for secretaries for that duty, — that I was suffi- 
cient for him. From that time to the period of 
his abdication in 1814, he honoured me with 
his confidence. Even at Blois, whither I had 
accompanied the Empress-regent, he sent some 
Spanish papers to me from Fontainebleau, of 
which he desired a translation. If I have spo- 
ken of myself in this affair, I have done so to 
engage the confidence of those who may cast 
their eyes upon this little work, and to guaran- 
tee to them the fidelity and exactitude of the 
facts which have come to my knowledge from 
a source so authentic. 

The Empress Josephine arrived at Bor- 
deaux. Napoleon, after a repose of ten days, 
set out alone for Bayonne. This division arose 


I think, from the circumstance that there were 
not suitable apartments for both in the old palace 
at Bayonne. We knew that for some time or- 
ders had been given for more elegant furni- 
ture. That limitation in the orders, wliich at 
first were confined to a single suite of rooms at 
Bayonne, only confirmed me in the idea that 
originally the Emperor alone was to undertake 
the journey, and to go to Madrid. The whole 
of the arrangements were changed, I think, 
by the revolution of Aranjuez. The aspect of 
affairs was no longer the same : a nation which 
rose en masse to displace the crown, to dismiss 
a weak and abased government, and to confide 
its destinies to a young prince, adored, and for 
a long time oppressed, presented an entirely 
different appearance : a new course was to be 
pursued. It was necessary above all things 
to avoid wounding the pride of a people who 
showed themselves so haughty and irritable, 
although they had then, as now, neither trea- 
sures, army, industry, nor commerce. It was 
necessary to appear as a friend, and to hold a 
court at Bayonne, which was sufficiently conve- 
nient to receive the King and Queen of Spain. 
No one was better capable of sustaining it with 
grace and dignity than the Empress Josephine, 
assisted by the ladies who accompanied her. 



Napoleon arrived at Bayonne in the night of 
the 14th or 15th of April. The Grand JNIar- 
shal, after having visited the Chatean de INIar- 
rac, sitnated at a quarter of a league from the 
town, gave the orders, and two days afterwards 
it was in a condition to receive their majesties 
and the ladies of the Palace, when they should 
arrive, as well as the Prince of Neufchatel and 
the Grand Marshal. The other persons were 
provided for in the environs and at Bayonne. 
The guard bivouacked in the lawn, in the 
front of the chateau, and formed a camp which 
had a very agreeable appearance. On the 15th, 
after having received all the authorities, Napo- 
leon inspected the fortifications, viewed the es- 
tablishments of the harbour, and returned to 
the Government Palace at five o'clock in the 
evening. He expected to receive a visit from 
the Infant Don Carlos, whom his brother Fer- 
dinand had sent in courtesy. That Prince was 
ill for some days, and remained incognito. I 
do not know whether his illness was real or 
merely diplomatic ; that which is of the latter 
class is convenient and useful, and gives time 
for plotting. At all events, Napoleon thought 
it right to send his physician and one of his 
valets de chamhre to attend particularly to the 


Prince, and to contribute by their endeavours 
to the re-establishment of Iiis liealth. He sent 
regularly several times a-day to learn how the 
Prince was ; in whose condition, however, there 
was nothing alarming. When the Infant ar- 
rived at Bayonne, the military duties about 
him were performed by the troops of the garri- 
son ; but Napoleon replaced them by the guard 
of honour of the town. 

Prince Ferdinand left Vittoria on the morn- 
ing of A})ril the 19th, and arrived at Irim in 
the evening. He wrote the following letter the 
same evening, which was entrusted to the Em- 
peror's aid-de-camp, who had accompanied him 
from Madrid, and who arrived at Bayonne ten 
hours before the Prince, after having travelled 
all night. 

" Sir, my Brother, 

" In consequence of what I had the honour 
of writing yesterday, to your Imperial and 
Royal Majesty, I have come to Irun, and 1 
intend setting out at eight o'clock to-morrow 
morning, to have the advantage of that of 
which I have been long ambitious, could 1 
arrive at it— an intei'view with your lm])e- 

G 2 


rial and Royal IMajesty, at the Palace of Mar- 

" I remain, with sentiments of the highest 
esteem and regard, 

" Your Imperial and Royal Majesty's 
good Brother, 

"Irun, April 19, 1808." 

Napoleon had some difficulty in believing 
the report of his aid-de-camp. " How ! is he 
coming ?" cried he. " No ! it is not possible !" 
I heard this myself. That he was not after- 
wards a party to the arrangement of matters I 
will not pretend to say ; but I can assert that 
at the first moment he was much embarrass- 
ed. Perhaps he was not prepared for so much 
weakness. He had hoped at one time, that at 
the sight of a Spanish frigate equipped for sea, 
Ferdinand would of himself have formed the 
idea of embarking for America. He was de- 

Indeed, how was it to be imagined, that 
a young prince, who had been raised to the 
throne by a popular insurrection, listening to 
doubtful insinuations, which were not sup- 
ported by any letter or any previous negoti- 
ation, should permit himself to be hurried from 


one place to another beyond his kingdom, en- 
quiring adventurously on all sides, to learn 
whether he should be received as a king, or 
merely as a prince, and forgetting that that 
important point ought to have been regulated 
and settled before he left Madrid. Of what 
utility, then, was the numerous cortege of 
counsellors of all descriptions who followed in 
his suite ? Would not his hand refuse to sign 
the order for giving liberty to Godoi, his 
most cruel enemy ? And if his invaded capi- 
tal offered him no longer a convenient asylum, 
why should he not have recourse to his faith- 
ful provinces, take Godoi thither, judge him, 
and then openly declare war? That proud 
and indignant nation, which had so long and 
so obstinately resisted without its king, what 
could it not have done with him ! 

JNIy respect for the supreme power would 
have made me suppress these harsh reflections, 
if the change of scene and the inevitable de- 
crees of Providence had not replaced King 
Ferdinand on the throne, to which he was 
called by the right of birth. It is, however, 
useful sometimes to remind the great that they 
are exposed to the same vicissitudes as other 
men. Those meditations which remind tlieni 
of past misfortunes, always tend to the advan- 


tage and welfare of their subjects ; at least, 
such ought to be the case. 

The Prince of Asturias arrived at Bayonne 
at midnight on the 20th of April. The Em- 
peror had not sent any one to receive him on 
the frontier ; he was merely met at some dis- 
tance from the town by the Prince of Neuf- 
chatel, the Grand-marshal, and the Count of 
Angosse, the Chamberlain appointed for his 
])articular service. Prince Ferdinand was com- 
plimented in the name of the Emperor, escort- 
ed by the guard of honour of the department, 
and proceeded with that slight retinue to the 
palace which was destined for his occupation. 
He was received by the three personages whom 
I have just named, and who had gone on be- 
fore him. 

M. de Cevallos (p. 70) complains of the un- 
suitableness of the habitation prepared for the 
royal traveller ; but he would have done well 
to remember that the town offered no other 
resource. It was the best house to be found ; 
it was new and very well furnished. The In- 
fant Don Carlos was already residing in it. 
An hour afterwards Napoleon visited Prince 
Ferdinand, who went to the street-door to re- 
ceive him. They embraced, and entered the 
apartments. The interview lasted about half 


an hour ; but I do not tlilnk there was much 
conversation upon business. No confidence 
could exist between them. After Napoleon 
had left, the Grand- marshal came, on the part 
of the Emperor, to invite Prince Ferdinand, 
Don Carlos, the Duke of Infantado, M. de 
Cevallos, the Duke of San Carlos, the Abbe 
Excoiquiz, and, I believe, the Count of Fer- 
nand-Nunez, to dinner. Napoleon's carriages 
were sent to convey those illustrious guests; 
and when they arrived at the Chateau of 
Marrac, Napoleon descended to the foot of 
the steps where the Prince's carriage liad 
stopped. That was the only mark of atten- 
tion which appeared to me to be a part of 
those he commonly paid to crowned heads. I 
had ah-eady some trifling acquaintance with 
what was passing in Spain ; and as my new 
office of Translator to the Cabinet did not pre- 
vent me from discharging my duties as Prefect 
of the Palace, 1 waited with impatience for the 
dinner, at which I regularly attended, curious 
to behold so extraordinary a meeting. I ad- 
mired the address with wliich the Enqieror 
avoided addressing P'erdinand either by the 
title of Majesty or of Highness. He made 
full compensation by the most refined polite- 
ness, and more than his customary courtesy ; 
lie extended it even to all the courtiers of the 


Prince ; and, in short, he managed so well that 
the countenances of all the guests appeared to 
me to express a genuine satisfaction at so fa- 
vourable a reception. After dinner the con- 
versation lasted but a short time ; and when 
Ferdinand left, the Emperor did not accompany 
him farther than the door of the apartment. 

It is affirmed, that an hour after the Prince 
had returned home, he received a message from 
the Emperor, by which he was informed that 
he would receive no other title than that of 
Prince of Asturias, until the arrival of King 
Charles, who was then on his road to Bayonne, 
because then the great debate between the fa- 
ther and the son would naturally be decided. 

The guard of honour and the imperial guard 
were simultaneously on duty at the palace of 
Ferdinand ; and they were reinforced by a nu- 
merous and picked detachment of gend'ar- 

The Empress Josephine arrived at the cha- 
teau of Marrac, on the evening of the 27th ; 
and the apartments of the palace of the former 
government of Bayonne were prepared for the 
reception of the late Court of Spain, which was 


It is useless to make a mystery of the plans 
which were adopted to acquire a knowledge of 
wliat was done, what was said, and what was 
written in the palace occupied by the young 
princes. Similar measures, it is said, are cus- 
tomary in similar cases. That young and con- 
fiding Court was far from suspecting them du- 
ring the beginning of its stay at Eayonne. 
Daily and secret reports were made to Na- 
poleon. The Prince and his courtiers wrote 
without precaution, but their couriers were 
stopped at the frontier by a double line of 
chosen gens-d'armes and custom-house officers, 
who rummaged every passenger, even the wives 
of the common people, without mercy ; upon 
whom they often found despatches, which 
were to be remitted to Spanish emissaries, who 
waited beyond the Bidassoa ; the desj^atches 
were taken from the Spanish couriers sent from 
Bayonne, and they w^ere permitted to enter 
Spain without farther inconvenience. It was 
sufficient, that it was impossi])le for them to 
have the p(^wer of giving the alarm. As fc^r 
the couriers who came from Madrid, their des- 
patches also were taken from them, and they 
were compelled to re-enter Spain. 

On the 29th, the Emperor sent for me early 
in tiie morning, and commanded me to trans- 


late immediately in his presence the following 
letter : — 

" Bayonne, April 28, 1808. 
" To Don Antonio. 

" Dear Friend : — I have received your letter 
of the 24th, and I have read the copies of the 
two others which are enclosed, the one from 
Murat, and your answer ; I am satisfied with 
it; I have never doubted of your prudence, 
nor of your friendship for me. I know not 
how to thank you.* 

" The Empress arrived here yesterday even- 
ing at seven d clock ; there were only a few little 
children who shouted " Long live the Emjjress /" 
in other respects her reception was cold; she 
passed on ivithout stoj^ping, and jiroceeded forth- 
with to Marrac, whither I shall go to-day to visit 


" Yesterday Cevallos had a very warm in- 
terview with the Emperor, who called him a 
traitor, because after having been the minister 
of my father he is now attached to me, and 
which is the cause of the contempt he enter- 
tains for him. I know not how Cevallos con- 
tained himself, for he is easily irritated, and 

* The passage in italics was suppressed in the translation 
inserted in the " Moniteur." 


above all wlien charged with 8uch reproaches. 
I never knew Cevallos before now ; I find tliat 
he is a man of worth, who regulates his sen- 
timents according to the true interests of liis 
country, and that he is of a firm and energetic 
character, such as is to be desired under the 
present circumstances.* 

" I have to inform you that Marie-Louise 
(Queen of Etruria) has written to the Emperor 
that she was a witness of the abdication of my 
father, and she asserts that that abdication was 
not voluntary. 

" Govern well, and be on your guard lest 
these cursed French should act falsely with 
you. Receive the assurances of my most ten- 
der attachment. 

" Ferdinand." 

I observed the Emperor Avliile he read my 
translation. He appeared displeased with tliat 
part whicli related to the Empress, but, above 
all, indignant with the epithet ciiracd French. 
" Are you quite sure that this is exactly the 
word V I read the original to him. " MaL 
dittosr ''It is truly so; 'that word is almost 
Italian, maledetto,^' he replied. The original 
was tak(?n back by the Emperor. 

* This piiriijfraph was not printed even in the copy which 
was published by the late Archbishoi) of iMaline^. 


That letter, I think, was the pretext which 
made him put aside the proffered compensa- 
tion of the kingdom of Etruria. The heart 
and liatred of Ferdinand were developed to 
Napoleon ; and he could no longer reckon up- 
on him. The Spanish ministers, moreover, had 
rejected with disdain the proposals for him 
to reign in Italy. It was no longer thought of. 
The arrival of King Charles changed the course 
of events. 

King Charles and the Queen, placed under 
a kind of surveillance at Aranjuez, and unwil- 
ling to remove to Badajoz, the place particu- 
larly pointed out for their residence by Ferdi- 
nand, after the departure of that Prince, ob- 
tained permission from the regency, tbrough 
the powerful support of the Grand-duke, to 
repair to the Escurial, which was occupied by 
a part of the French army. It was from that 
palace that they set out for France, with es- 
corts provided by the Grand-duke. 



Arrival of King Churles and the Queen of Spain at Bayonne 
— First interview between that sovereign and his son — 
Arrival of the Infant Don Antonio at Bayonne — Treaty 
concluded between the Emperor and King Charles — Re- 
specting King Charles IV. — Respecting the Queen of 
Spain — Anecdote of the Duchess d' * * * — King Charles 
and his court set out for Fontainebleau — Departure of Fer- 
dinand and the Infants from Bayonne to Valencay — Pro- 
clamation of the Infants to the Spanish people — Address 
prepared by the Duke of Infantado in the name of the 
grandees of Spain ; it is not delivered — Transaction con- 
cerning it. 

King Charles and the Queen of Spain ar- 
rived at Bayonne on April 3()tli. The cortege 
which accom])anied their Catholic Majesties did 
not include a great many persons of rank, but 
there were a considerable number of baggage 
waggons laden with precious stores. The car- 
riages of the King, made upon the same models 
as those of the age of Louis XIV. wliich were 
employed by Phili]) V. on lus entrance into 


Spain, presented a singulai' contrast with the 
elegance and Hghtness of the French eqnipages. 
It was astonishing to observe how little pro- 
gress had been made in the ornamental arts 
in a neighbouring nation. The same remark 
was applicable to all the usages, manners, and 
refinements of life. A^^ould it be believed, for 
instance, that the etiquette of the court con- 
demned four huge footmen in fine liveries, to 
remain standing and knocking one against 
the other behind the carriage of the king, 
from Madrid to Bayonne, exposed to the dif- 
ferent temperatures, and to all the dust of the 
roads ! These good kings travelled as though 
they were merely going to make a visit at a 
short distance from their palace. The follow- 
ing morning when the equipages of Napoleon 
attended on their Catholic Majesties, who had 
testified a desire to make the first visit to the 
Empress Josephine, the King, who was more- 
over suffering from an attack of gout, expe- 
rienced the utmost difiiculty possible in getting 
into our berlins, and using the modern double 
foot-steps, upon which he hesitated to trust 
himself, from being accustomed to the steps and 
the laro-eness of his coaches. 

Napoleon descended to the door of the coach, 
and was obliged to wait some minutes in order 


to give King Charles time to disengage himself 
from his sword, which annoyed him ahiiost as 
mucli as his gout, and to overcome his fear 
of the foot-steps upon which he hesitated to 
trust liimself. The Kinor was the first to lau<fh 
at his own embarrassment. The Empress Jose- 
phine was in readiness to receive these noble 
personages, which she did with that grace and 
amiability which never deserted her. After 
the usual compliments the toilet was spoken of. 
The Empress offered the Queen to send 3^u- 
plan, her head-dresser, to give her ladies a 
lesson in that important art, and tlie proposi- 
tion was eagerly accepted. Tlieir IMajesties re- 
tired and returned to dinner. They l)rouglit 
with them the Prince of the Peace, who had 
not been invited. It was with difficulty I re- 
cognised the Queen in her new head-dress. The 
great talent of Du})lan liad miscarried ; tlie 
Queen did not look liandsomer, but merely 

The Emperor being informed that dinner was 
served, presented liis liand to the Queen of 
Spain. I went immediately before, and I 
remarked that Napoleon walked more )'a])idly 
than usual, apparently without intending to do 
so; he perceived it himself, and said to the 
Queen ; " Your Majesty ])erhaps finds that 1 


go on too quickly ?" "' Sire," replied the Queen, 
laughing, " it is your general custom." Was 
that a compliment ? was it an indirect re- 
proach ? I am ignorant, for I could not turn 
back and read the eyes of the Queen and the 
expression of her countenance, which might 
have enlightened me on this reply of double 
meaning. Napoleon walked slower, and said, 
also laughing ; " That his gallantry for the 
ladies always made it a point of duty with him 
to consult their tastes." The presence of the 
Prince of the Peace had embarrassed me. I had 
told the usher in attendance that the Prince was 
not upon the list, and desired him to inform 
him so with politeness, when he presented him- 
self to enter the dining-hall. This was done 
accordingly. On taking his seat, Khig Charles 
observed tlie absence of his favourite ; " And 
Manuel, Sire, and Godoi ?" The Emperor 
tvirned towards me smiling, and gave me orders 
to admit Manuel. During dinner some discus- 
sion took place on the difference of the etiquette 
and habit of the two courts. King Charles 
spoke much of his passion for the chase, to 
which he partly attributed his gout and rheu- 
matism. " Every day," said he, "whatever may 
be the weather, winter and summer, after 
breakfast and having heard mass, I hunt for an 


hour, and I recommence immediately after din- 
ner and pursue it till the close of the day. In 
the evening JManuel informs me whether affairs 
go well or ill, and I retire to rest to recom- 
mence the morrow in a similar way, that is, if 
some important ceremony does not compel me 
to desist." Since his accession to the throne 
this good king had reigned in no other manner. 

The Infant Don Antonio, havino; no lons^er 
any functions to discharge at Madrid, soon ar- 
rived at Bayonne. The first words that he ut- 
tered on alighting in the palace-court were, 
" That it was impossible for him to have tra- 
velled with greater rapidity than he had done.' 
He was not aware that orders had been given 
on the road to hurry his journey — indeed, 
scarcely to allow him breathing time. 

A treaty concluded between the Emperor 
and King Charles, transferred to Napoleon all 
his claims to the crown of Spain. Prince Fer- 
dinand and the other infants concurred in this 
treaty, which terminated for the moment all 
existing difficulties. 

It is wrong to imagine, that King Charles 
did not act with perfect freedom in this affair ; 
in spite of the feelings of nature, that whicli 
had the most powerful influence u])on his con- 



duct, was a violent hatred of his son and his 
partisans. Nothing could prove more strongly 
that his abdication on the 19th of March had 
been compulsory. The resentful feelings which 
flow from the throne in such a case, leave deep 
impressions, that are never effaced. Besides 
kings are accustomed only to behold their poste- 
rity in their children and never to feel as fathers. 
A cold and ceremonious line of demarcation al- 
ways separates a king from his heir, in w^hom he 
often sees nothing but a successor desirous of 
reigning. It was, therefore, with eagerness that 
Charles IV. made the sacrifice, which is by every 
one looked upon as the greatest. Hence Napo- 
leon had nothing to wish for, nothing to de- 
mand. Charles, whose plain and retired habits 
had always estranged him from public affaii'S, 
even from the most simple details of the admi- 
nistration, loved no one but the Prince of the 
Peace. And by the most extraordinary perver- 
sion, his wife, his children, and his kingdom, 
were almost nothing to him. Godoi, who could 
not and would not himself re-enter Spain, in- 
stilled disgust into the mind of the King, whom 
the remembrance of the recent outrage he had 
suffered, but too much disposed to renounce 
for ever a country in which his favourite could 
not retain his ascendancy. 


Thus finished the political life of Charles 
IV.* He was of a lofty stature, and a noble 
and firm deportment ; the perfect harmony of 
his features indicated good nature and the ha- 
bitual calm of his mind ; and his appearance 
created an impression that his habits had been 
always pure. His only passions were friend- 
ship for Godoi, and an unlimited compliance 
with the wishes of the Queen. I really be- 
lieve that his friendship for his favourite over- 
whelmed every other feeling. He sacrificed 
all to it without regret and without hesitation. 
He had lived a private life when on the throne, 
and he lost no enjoyment in resigning the 
monarchy of a portion of the two worlds to 
enter upon retirement. He found himself 
thrown into a station naturally adapted to his 
simple and unaspiring taste ; and when his 
health, affected by continual attacks of gout or 
by age, no longer permitted him to partake 
of the pleasures of the chase, he supplied the 
deficiency by those of music, and in making 
happy the small circle of faithful subjects who 
were devoted to his person. Not only did 
he love to listen to the distinguislied artists 
he employed, but he himself executed some 

* Charles was born at Naples, 3Iay 21st, 17-1J3, and as- 
cended the throne of Spain, December 14th, 17^0- 

H 2 


pieces of music far from indifFerently. He 
was, however, an amateur of a new class. I 
was told by one of my friends, who was in- 
timately acquainted with M. Boucher, his first 
violin player, that Charles IV. very often be- 
gan a concerted piece alone, and on its being- 
remarked by that celebrated performer, the 
King would gravely reply, that " he was not 
made to wait." 

The Queen Maria Louisa, his wife, was 
born at Parma on the 9th of December, 1751. 
She was petite, and, at the time when I had 
the honour of seeing her, it was difficult to 
judge whether she had been pretty. Her eyes 
were bright and expressive ; her features, alto- 
gether, more serious than pleasant, bespoke de- 
cision of character and talent ; and her marked 
physiognomy indicated an habitual occupation 
of mind, which seemed to render her indifferent 
to the duties of her rank, when they were in 
opposition to her predominant idea. That 
species of monomania was, it is said, the busi- 
ness of all her life ; it was remarked that inti- 
mate and private conversation was much more 
to her liking, than that life of perpetual show 
which is designated the court circle. It must 
not be imagined, however, that she was in- 

THE DUCHESS d'***. 101 

different to the cares of the toilet. The pre- 
servative or restorative art formed an essential 
part of the concentration of her faculties. She 
had every thing in the first fashion from Paris, 
and that homage to French taste recalls to my 
remembrance an anecdote, which was related to 
me by several grandees of Spain. 

The Duchess D'***, a young, handsome, 
sprightly widow, and immensely rich, had the 
misfortune, in consequence of some court in- 
trigues, to lose the good graces of the Queen. 
Anger and hatred followed an open rupture. 
The beautiful Duchess for a long while con- 
fined the resentment she experienced to a no- 
ble defence ; but at length the gaiety of her 
disposition frequently induced her to indulge 
in pleasantries which were not without danger 
to herself. Knowing that it was the habit of 
the Queen to receive almost all her dresses from 
Paris, she employed a faithful and adroit agent 
to procure for her, whatever might be the cost, 
the same fashions, the same stuffs, and the same 
jewels, which the tradespeople of tlic Queen 
had orders to forward to Madrid. Tlie airent 
of the Ducliess was upon the look-out, paid 
hberally, and was ])romptly served ; and she 
despatched Iier trunks several days before the 


persons employed by the Queen were in a 
condition to start theirs. The Duchess, there- 
fore, had nothing farther to do, than dress out 
her chambermaids, and direct them to exhi- 
bit themselves at all the public places, on the 
Prado, and at the theatre, &c. &c. in order to 
deprive the Queen of the gratification, so ex- , 
quisite to a woman of pretension, of being the 
first to display, in all their freshness, those fri- 
volous objects, to which vanity and coquetry 
attach but too high a price. 

According to the ordinary progress of such 
foolish self-love, the empire of the graces and 
of love became a subject of most serious ri- 
valry. The war was rendered the more ani- 
mated, as the Duchess, young, handsome, and 
perfectly agreeable, obtained all the advantage 
and success she could desire. Twice did an 
unknown hand set fire to, her palace, a build- 
ing remarkable for its elegance and good taste, 
and in which were to be found assembled all 
who were distinguished for their rank, their 
wit, their birth, or their talents ; they flocked 
to it with the more eagerness as they well 
knew that they should there find pleasure with- 
out restraint, society without etiquette, and 
all the enchanting magnificence which fetes 
can present, without the slightest resemblance 


to that uniform gravity which characterised the 
galas of the Court. The Duchess repaired the 
devastation created by the fire. When her 
palace was entirely rebuilt and embellished, 
for the third time, she gave a grand fete, 
which she terminated much earlier than usual. 
" Retire," said she, to her guests : " I will not 
again permit others to have the pleasure of 
burning my palace : I will take that trouble 
upon myself." In fact, she set fire to it with 
her own hand. Some time after, the young 
Duchess was seized with an illness, which the 
skill of the faculty could neither overcome nor 
check in its progress, and she died prematurely 
at nine-and-twenty or thirty years of age. Her 
palace was not repaired. On the 4th of De- 
cember, when we entered Madrid as conquerors 
after its capitulation, we saw nothing but its 
wreck and ruins — sad monuments of an indis- 
creet and censurable struggle ! ! 

Khig Charles, the Queen of Spain, and the 
Infant, Don Francisco, set out for Fontaine- 
bleau on the 10th of May. The suite ap- 
pointed by the Emperor to accompany them, 
was composed of the same persons who had 
been placed about them during their stay at 
Bayonnc ; of General Count Reillc, Aide-de- 


camp to the Emperor ; of Count Diimanoir, 
Chamberlain ; and of the Count of Audenarde, 
Master of the Horse to the Empress. On their 
arrival at Fontainebleau, their Majesties found 
Madame de la Rochefoucault, lady of honour ; 
Madame de Lu(^^ay, tireing woman ; Madame 
Duchatel, lady of the palace ; M. de Remu- 
sat, first chamberlain ; M. de Lu^ay, first 
prefect of the palace ; M. de Caquerai, master 
of the hounds, and all the inferior attendants 
that could conduce to their comfort. 

As for the Prince of Asturias, Don Car- 
los, his brother, and Don Antonio, his uncle, 
they set out for Valen9ay. Their journey was 
performed without noise, and without show. 
The only remarkable occurrence was the issuing 
of a proclamation, dated Bordeaux, May 12th, 
and addressed to the Spanish people. In it 
they confirmed, in the strongest manner, the 
transmission of the rights and sovereignty over 
Spain to the Emperor Napoleon ; stipulated for 
the same reservations and conditions as are 
mentioned in the Act of Cession of King 
Charles, and expressed the same wishes for the 
welfare of the Spanish people. I am entirely 
ignorant of every thing relative to this last 
concession. On their arrival at Valencay, those 
august personages were received by the Prince 
of Benevento, the proprietor of that beautiful 


chateau, and by MM. D'Arberg and De Tour- 
non, Chamberlains to the Emperor. 

It is remarkable, that at the same time that 
Napoleon added Spain to his vast dominions, 
the Emperor Alexander took Finland from 
Sweden, which did not on that account make 
any opposition to Russia ; for, without any 
provocation, Sweden some time afterwards 
formed an alliance with that power against 

The occurrences which followed these abdi- 
cations, renunciations, and cessions, do not re- 
quire that I should bestow on them any minute 
attention. That which took place at the cha- 
teau of Marrac, on the 7th of June, the day of 
the arrival of King Joseph Napoleon, whom 
the Emperor had proclaimed King of Spain, 
alone merits a moment's attention. 

Napoleon, anxious to introduce to his brother 
his new subjects, suddenly ordered an audience 
of presentation on the evening of his arrival. 
The deputations from the grandees of Spain, 
from the Council of Castile, from the Inqui- 
sition, from the Indies, from the treasury, and 
from the army, were directed to repair, in suc- 
cession, to the chateau of MaiTac, to pay their 
respects to their new sovereign. They had 
scarcely time to meet together, and to select 


one from among themselves, who was to sustain 
the part of orator in their name. This over- 
hasty audience became stormy, because tlie ad- 
dress prepared by the Duke of Infantado, on 
the part of the grandees of Spain, did not con- 
vey a formal recognition of the new king. It 
was as follows, and has never been published 
in France, at least not to my knowledge. It 
was to be addressed to King Joseph : — 
" Sire, 
" The Grandees of Spain, who are at present 
in Bayonne, hasten to offer to your Majesty 
their respects, and wishes for your welfare. 
The great qualities wliich are the lot of your 
JMajesty are above our eulogy, and speak for 
themselves. We are happy in being able to 
lay at the feet of your Majesty the homage of 
our devotion, in the presence of your august 
brother, the hero of our age. Behold, Sire, all 
that the laws which govern Spain permit us 
at this moment to offer to your Majesty. We 
await till the nation explains itself, and autho- 
rises us to give a greater latitude to our senti- 

Signed. The Duke of Infantado, of Me- 
dina Coeli, the Marquis of Santa Cruz, 
the Duke of Osuna, Count JMayorga, 
the Count of Santa-Coloma, Count Fern- 


and Nunez, tlie Duke of Montellano 
and of Arco, the Duke of Hijar, the 
Count of Aranda, the Count of Orgas, 
the Prince of Castel Franco. 
This address avoided the recognition of Jo- 
seph, and was not dehvered. That which I am 
about to insert was spoken by M. d'Azanza. 

" We experience, Sire, a lively joy in pre- 
senting ourselves before your Majesty. Spain 
hopes every thing from your reign. The pre- 
sence of your Majesty is most earnestly desired, 
above all to fix the minds, to conciliate the 
interests, and to establish order; so necessary 
to the Spanish nation. Sire, the Grandees of 
Spain have ever been celebrated for their fide- 
lity to their sovereigns. Your Majesty will 
find in them the same constancy and the same 
devotion. Receive our homage with that good- 
ness of which you have given so many proofs 
to your Neapolitan people, the fame of which 
has already reached us." 

(The same signatures followed.) 

Moniteur, June 7, 1808. 

The details, as related by the late Archbishop 
of Malincs, of the scene which occurred upon 
the form of the address of M. Del Tnfantado, 
are exact ; but I do not at all concur with him 


in opinion, when he attributes so much heat 
and violence to Napoleon. He restrained him- 
self, because that which he said was in itself 
sufficiently strong. " You are a gentleman, 
Sir," said he to the Duke of Infantado ; " con- 
duct yourself like one, and, instead of quarrel- 
ling upon the language of an oath, which it is 
your intenion to violate on the first opportu- 
nity, go, place yourself at the head of your 
party in Spain, and fight openly and honoura- 
bly. I will provide you with a passport, and 
give you my word of honour the outposts of 
my army shall permit you to pass freely and 
without interruption. That is what would be- 
come a man of honour." The Duke mingled 
together protestations and assurances of fidelity, 
*' You are to blame," replied the Emperor ; 
** this is a more serious matter than you think. 
You will forget your oath, and place yourself 
in danger of being shot — perhaps within eight 
days from the present time." 



History of AH-Bey, (Badia-Castillo). 

I AM about to speak of a curious transaction 
which is but little known. 

On the 11th of June, 1808, during our stay 
at Bayonne. the Emperor sent for me. I was 
sailing in a little boat in the harbour, with the 
intention of going as far as the sea, when the 
Count de Bondi, always kind and agreeable, 
dispatched a courier after me. I disembarked, 
and hastened promptly to the palace of INIar- 
rac, where I was introduced. 

" I have been conversing," said the Emperor, 
" with a Spaniard, wliom you might have seen 
in the hall, and I have not sufficient leisure to 
give an attentive hearing to his history, which 
moreover appears very long. See him, con- 
verse with him, pay attention to tlie manu- 
scripts of which he spoke to me, and make me 
a report." With these words lie dismissed me. 


On returning to the hall to which the Em- 
peror had alluded, I saw a man still young in 
his appearance and of a tall and elegant figure. 
He wore a uniform of royal-blue, without or- 
naments or epaulets, and a magnificent cimeter, 
mounted in the Oriental manner, was suspended 
at his side by a sash of green silk. His fea- 
tures were regular, and his whole air good, 
but rather severe. His fine black musta- 
chios, and his large, bright and piercing eyes 
gave a peculiar expression to his countenance 
and look. His hair was black and thick. I 
approached him, and informed him that I was 
authorized by the Emperor to receive his com- 
munication. He answered courteously, and 
then his countenance expressed so much soft- 
ness, and at the same time so much vivacity, 
that I felt disposed to give him every assistance 
which might lay within my power. I pro- 
posed that we should go into the garden of the 
palace, where we conversed a long while. I 
gave my name, and apologized for the awkward 
circumstances which obliged me to ask him 
his : " Here, and in Spain, I am called Don Ba- 
dia Castillo y Leblich ; but in the East, I am 
known by the name of Ali-Bey, Prince of the 
houseof the Abbassides." He must have observed 
my astonishment, for he at once entered into 


ample detjfils of the principal events of his life. 
The precious and interesting travels which he 
published in three volumes in 1814, and fol- 
lowed by an atlas, consisting of a hundred 
plates, make it needless for me to relate every 
thing with which he made me acquainted. I 
shall confine myself to that secret and political 
part which is but little known. He died in 
Asia in 1819 ; I may here, therefore, without 
indiscretion, disclose his communications. 

Badia Castillo y Leblich was born in Spain 
in 1767, and gave early proofs of the happiest 
talents ; they were cultivated with care, and he 
acquired vast knowledge in the mathematics, 
in astronomy, in natural history, in physic, in 
chemistry, in drawing, and above all in the 
Oriental languages. He combined in himself 
all the qualities necessary to study and inquire 
into Nature, to observe the stars, to determine 
their position, to construct plans, and to deli- 
neate the different views he might meet with. 
Encoiu-aged and protected by the l*rince of the 
I*eace, he repaired to I^ondon to perfect his stu- 
dies. He allowed his beard to grow, was cir- 
cumcised, dressed like the Arabs, composed an 
authentic genealogy proving his high extrac- 
tion, and under the name of Ali-Bey, Prince 
of the Abbassides, a family celebrated by its nu- 


merous caliphs, he landed in France, repaired 
to Paris, communicated to the Board of Lon- 
gitude the scientific purposes of his voyage, 
took notes upon the geographical and mari- 
time points of which the class of the superior 
sciences of the Institute desired to have precise 
elucidations. He traversed France and Spain, 
received at IVIadrid his last instructions, great 
assistance, letters of credit to a great amount, 
and letters of recommendation to all the con- 
suls of Spain, of Africa, and of Asia, to whom 
his journey was announced as only connected 
with science and the progress of letters. 

The true political end was to endeavour to 
work a revolution in the empire of Morocco, 
to overthrow the reigning Emperor, and to 
render that vast country a rich and beautiful 
Spanish colony ; more important perhaps than 
those of America, since two hours only of na- 
vigation were necessary to reach it without 
danger. The idea was grand in itself. 

Holland, France, England, and even Russia, 
already began to direct their attention to the 
continent of Africa, which contained in itself 
so much wealth. Its colonies, not less fertile 
than those of America, would have cost less 
time and blood to conquer them. There is 
reason to be astonished that the idea of their 


conquest presented- itself so late to the Spanish 
government, which Avould have found upon the 
shores of Barbary immense resources. All 
kinds of reasons ought to have made them pre- 
fer this clime to that of America : the great 
number of its inhabitants, the variety of its 
soil, its admirable situation for the commerce 
of the world, would have presented to policy, 
to philosophy, and even to religion, conquests 
worthy of the Spanish nation. The mines of 
Bambouk, joined to the abundant produce of 
the soil, ivory, gums, and slaves for the colo- 
nies, should have caused the coast of Africa to 
be looked upon as the most precious country 
which nature could have placed in the neigh- 
bourhood of Spain. 

It is difficult to conceive how the Portuouese, 
the French, and the English, could fight so long 
for the coast of Senegal, where a scorching 
climate destroys all those who have the unfor- 
tunate courage to seek their fortunes there, 
whilst they had a source of wealth so much 
nearer to them, and which might have been 
invaded with so much facility. 

The King of Spain is the only sovereign of 
Europe who possesses on this coast some purely 
military establishments, situated, liowevcr, in 



the poorest and most thinly inhabited part of 

All these important considerations at length 
struck the Spanish government, and Badia Cas- 
tillo, under the name of Ali-Bey, was sent 
to Morocco in 1802, to watch, prepare, and 
dispose all things, with the view of grasping 
that vast empire either by force or by address. 
The outset of his expedition was fortunate. 
He even attained the highest degree of favour 
with the Emperor, and the great personages of 
the state. This first success encouraged the 
Prince of the Peace, who himself composed the 
Spanish government, and he permitted Ali-Bey 
to direct all the plans, and to combine all the 
means to begin the great revolution. The em- 
pire of Morocco contains five millions of Moors, 
who are so many slaves without any property, 
because the whole of the territory forms the pa- 
trimony of the Emperor. All the world knows 
further, that the throne belongs to a sovereign 
who has no other right to it than that of force 
and violence. That sovereign, entirely despica- 
ble as he is, sees his treasures increased an- 
nually by the shameful tribute with which the 
powers of Europe present him, in order to ob- 
tain permission to trade with his subjects, and 
to secure the humiliating protection which he 


grants to the vessels they employ ; — scandalous 
servitude, which in itself would constitute a 
right to attempt the invasion of a neighbour 
so imperiously overbearing. To these consi- 
derations Ali-Bey added, that the free tribes of 
Mount Atlas, neighbours to the empire of Mo- 
rocco, had always their arms in their hands to 
defend themselves against the Kmperor, and to 
maintain their independence ; that that state of 
perpetual warfare had rendered it impossible for 
them to carry on any commerce with Europe ; 
and that they would join with transport those 
who should attack the tyrant, and become their 
faithful allies. 

But the most important consideration, was 
the weakness of the military resources of the 
Emperor of Morocco. From six to eight thou- 
sand black men formed his guard, and alone 
sufficed to oppress the unhappy inhabitants of 
his kingdom. Ali-Bey was satisfied that the 
discontent of the principal inhabitants was at 
its height, and that they wished with all their 
hearts for a just and enlightened government ; 
that the tribes of Mount Atlas, who had for- 
merly been derived from the richest provinces 
of the empire, which they liad never known 
how to preserve, would feel their courage re- 
kindle if they should be seconded by Spain 

I 2 


which was more interested than any other 
power in establishing its domination. 

It was on these grounds, that Ali-Bey hoped 
for the success of the expedition ; and his 
acquaintance with the principal chiefs of the 
government, and even Avith the guard of the 
King of Morocco, made him regard his pro- 
ject as certain of success if it were but at- 

But the affair was suddenly terminated. It 
was not proceeded in. I suppose that the Prince 
of the Peace, on reflecting a little more, felt that 
he had gone on too fast. The system generally 
adopted by the European powers would have 
considered so important an increase of power 
and of riches as a real infringement on the poli- 
tical balance. That which would have appeared 
harmless enough on the part of a body of ad- 
venturers, assumed a very different complexion 
when seen as an attempt emanating from such a 
government as that of Spain. JNloreover, the ac- 
cession of Napoleon to the imperial crown, which 
had been tendered him by the senate, neces- 
sarily excited fears and reflections, and damped 
the enthusiasm which had given birth to the 
project of creating a great colony. The issue, 
moreover, was at least doubtful, in consequence 
of the weakness of the means pointed out. 


Censure is doubly deserved when a triumphant 
success does not colour to a certain point, an 
enterprise distinguished by its temerity. It ap- 
peared natural to the Prince of the Peace to 
impute his own errors and precipitancy to Ali 
Bey. Perhaps, too, the sudden interruption of 
this seductive dream ouo'ht to be attributed to 
the discussions which occurred between Eng- 
land and Spain, and which finished before the 
end of the year by a declaration of war between 
the two powers. 

I know positively, that Ali Bey assured me 
that the embarrassment into which the hesita- 
tion of the Cabinet of Madrid threw him, and 
the continual delays it made in sending him 
the men and necessaries he wanted, compelled 
him to renounce the extraordinary experiment ; 
and then, in accordance with the instruction he 
had received, he determined on a scientific voy- 
age into the East. 

On his return, Ali Bey re-assumed his former 
name, attached himself to the fortune of King 
Joseph, and was made prefect of Cordova. At 
the second abdication of that prince, he went to 
Paris, to superintend the printing of his tra- 
vels, the first part of which was printed at the 
expense of the Imperial Government. The 
work was completed during the reign of I^ouis 


XVIII., and dedicated to that monarch. Ali 
Bey's passion for the East, drew him, unhappily, 
into Asia, where he had deposited the most in- 
teresting objects of art and science. His death, 
which took place in 1819, was attributed to the 
Pacha of Damascus or Aleppo ; and the pub- 
licity of his journey renders probable all the 
conjectures which were made at that period. 



Interview of Erfurt. — Personages who were present. 

I AM about to copy part of a narrative of 
the celebrated interview of Erfurt, which I 
was ordered to compose. 

Their Imperial Majesties of France and Rus- 
sia, being desirous of making firmer the ties of 
friendship which they entered into at Tilsit, 
agreed that they should again meet on the 27th 
of September, 1808, in the French town of 

In consequence of that decision, the Empe- 
ror was visited by the Emperor of Russia, and 
the principal sovereigns of the Confederation of 
the Rhine, who had been invited to assemble 
in the town. 

This relation has not for its object an endea- 
vour to raise the sacred veil of politics ; it is 
merely intended as a record of the details, even 
the most minute, of the ceremonies and cti- 


quette which were observed at that memorable 

In accordance with the orders of the Em- 
peror, every precaution had been taken to give 
to that great event all the solemnity and all 
the magnificence with which it could be sur- 

The Duke of Frioul, grand-marshal of the 
palace, dispatched M. de Canouvile, marshal of 
the chambers of the palace, and two harbingers, 
to Erfurt, with the necessary instructions to 
prepare apartments for their Majesties and the 
other sovereigns. 

I was also sent in advance to prepare for the 
attendance of the grand-marshal. 

The government palace was fixed upon as 
the abode of the Emperor, it being the most ex- 
tensive, and the most suitable, as his Majesty 
had announced his intention of holding his 

The hotel of M. Triebel, a new and elegant 
house, was destined to become the palace of 
the Emperor Alexander; and that of the se- 
nator Remann was reserved for the Grand-duke 

Suitable houses were also provided for the 
princes of the Confederation of the Rhine, and a 
detachment from all the different attendants in 


the household of the Emperor, was appointed 
to each of these palaces. 

The ministers, the officers of the Emperor 
Alexander's suite, and those of the Emperor's 
suite, were lodged in the neighbourhood of 
their respective sovereigns. 

The wardrobe of the crown was sent from 
Paris, together with beds, liangings of tapes- 
try, bronzes, lustres, porcelain, and every thing 
which could contribute to the embellishment of 
the two imperial palaces, &c. &c. 

The major-general appointed the first regi- 
ment of hussars, the sixteenth of cuirassiers, 
and the seventeenth of light infantry, to form 
the garrison of the town of Erfurt. 

A battalion of the finest grenadiers of tlie 
Imperial Guard, and twenty picked gens- 
(farmes were sent to perform duty at the pa- 
laces of their Imperial INIajesties. 

Napoleon, on receiving the Emperor Alex- 
ander in a frontier town of his own dominions, 
was desirous of availing himself of that fa- 
vourable opportunity to afford pleasure to his 
imperial guest by a representation of the mas- 
ter-pieces of the French drama. Consequently 
the theatre was repaired, and his Majesty's 
company of comedians from the Theatre- 
Fran^ais were despatched, and arrived at Er- 


flirt before their Majesties. They consisted 
of MM. Saint-Prix, Tahna, Damas, Lafond, 
Despres. La Cave, Varennes ; Mesdames Rau- 
court, Duchesnois, Talma, Bourgouing, Rose 
Dupuis, Gros, and Patrat. 

M. Dazincourt was appointed manager. 

The Emperor had assigned to his Excellency 
the Marshal-Duke of Montebello, the honour- 
able mission of going to receive the Emperor 
of Russia at the frontiers of the Confederation 
of the Rhine. The Marshal repaired in con- 
sequence to Bromberg on the banks of the 

General Oudinot, now Marshal and Duke of 
Reggio, was appointed Governor of Erfurt. 

The King of Saxony was the first who 
arrived at Erfurt. His suite consisted of the 
Count of Boze, the Count of Marcolini, and 
the Count of Haag, his aid-de-camp. His 
Majesty was received in the palace, which had 
been prepared for him, by the officers of the 
Emperor, who had been sent in advance. 

I will not speak of the honours which were 
paid to Napoleon, from his quitting St. Cloud 
to his arrival at Erfurt, which he reached on 
the morning of the 27th of September, because 
in doing so I should tell nothing that is not al- 
readv well known. 


The Emperor Alexander set out from St. 
Petersburgh on the 14th of September, and on 
the 18th he had an interview with the King 
and Queen of Prussia, who received him at 
Konigsberg. He was received at Bromberg 
by the Duke of Montebello, and his arrival in 
that town was announced by a salute of twen- 
ty-one cannons. Scarcely had he descended 
from his carriage, when he mounted his horse, 
accompanied by the Duke of Montebello and 
Marshal the Duke of Dalmatia, and proceeded 
to view the division of General Nansouty. It 
was composed of four regiments of cuirassiers, 
and two of carabineers, and was drawn up in 
the finest order of battle. His Majesty was 
received with a salute of twenty-one cannons, 
fired by the light artillery. The Emperor Alex- 
ander surveyed the ranks with the greatest 
attention, and signs of admiration more than 
once escaped from him. By every regiment he 
was received with repeated cries of " Long live 
the Emperor Alexander !" And these acclama- 
tions became general when the division filed off 
before him in squadrons. When he returned to 
his palace, he condescended to receive the su- 
perior officers, who were presented to him by 
the General-of-di vision, Saint-Germain. After 


having repeated his praises, Alexander said, 
" he felt it an honour to be among so many- 
brave men and such excellent soldiers." 

His Majesty deigned to admit the generals 
and colonels of division to his table. On en- 
tering his carriage, he placed the Duke of 
IVlontebello on his right ; and the Marshal re- 
counted with the greatest sensibility all the 
marked kindnesses which his Majesty had heap- 
ed upon him during the journey. The Empe- 
ror travels habitually in a calash with two seats. 
When he perceived that the motion of the 
carriage had displaced the cloak of the ^larshal, 
who was sometimes overcome by sleep when 
he had to travel all night, his Majesty took the 
trouble of drawing it on again. 

Marshal Soult, the staff-major, the generals, 
and superior officers of the Nansouty division, 
escorted his INlajesty upon the road to Frank- 
fort-upon-the-Oder. He arrived at Weimar 
on the evening of the 26th, having passed 
through Leipsic without stopping. Relays of 
horses had been prepared on his route, both for 
himself and suite, with directions not to receive 
any payment. 

INIarshal Soult, in accordance with the or- 
ders of the Emperor, had posted escorts of 
light cavalry and of dragoons at each post the 


Emperor Alexander had to pass in the country 
occupied by the French army, and wherever 
there were any bodies of soldiers they were 
formed into line, and received him with full 
military honours. 

Napoleon, on his arrival at Erfurt, on the 
morning of the 27th, was welcomed with the 
most lively acclamations. On reaching his pa- 
lace, he found the King of Saxony in attendance 
at the foot of the staircase. I ought to remark 
here, both with respect to the King of Saxony 
and the other sovereigns who came to Erfurt, 
that none of them received any military ho- 
nours either on their entering or departing from 
that city. 

The Emperor, after having received the go- 
vernment of the States and the municipality of 
Erfurt, mounted his horse to visit the King of 
Saxony ; and on parting from that sovereign, 
he left the city by the gate of Weimar. At 
a little distance the grenadiers of the guards, 
commanded by INI. d'Arguies, were di-awn up, 
together with the seventeenth regiment of 
infantry, commanded by M. de Cabannes-Puy- 
misson; the first hussars, commanded by M. de 
Juniac, and Colonel d'Haugeranville, at the head 
of the sixteenth cuirassiers. After having in- 
spected the ranks of the different corps, he 


formed the infantry into closer line, and de- 
ployed the cavalry somewhat in advance on the 
road to Wiemar, and set forth to meet the Em- 
peror Alexander. 

At about a league and a half from the city, 
the two sovereigns encountered each other. 

As soon as the Emperor Alexander per- 
ceived Napoleon, he descended from his car- 
riage ; the Emperor also alighted, and the 
two sovereigns cordially embraced each other. 
Their Majesties then mounted on horseback, as 
did the Grand-duke Constantine, and rode at 
a gallop past the troops, who presented arms. 
The drums beat the salute ; and numberless 
vollies of artillery mingled with the sounds 
of bells, and the acclamations of an immense 
multitude, which so remarkable an event had 
collected from all parts. The Emperor Alex- 
ander wore the grand decoration of the Legion 
of Honour, and the Emperor that of St. An- 
drew of Russia ; this reciprocal deference was 
maintained throughout the meeting. 

Napoleon, being in his own dominions, con- 
stantly placed the Emperor of Russia on his 
right hand. 

The two Emperors alighted at the Russian 
palace, and continued an hour together. 

At half-past three, the Emperor Alexander 


visited Napoleon, who descended to the foot of 
the staircase to receive him ; and when Alex- 
ander retired, he conducted him as far as the 
door of the attendance-hall. The guard, form- 
ing in line, presented arms, and the drums beat 
the salute. 

At six o'clock the Emperor of llussia came 
to dine with his INIajesty, and continued to do 
so every day during his stay at Erfurt. 

As to the precedence of the other sovereigns, 
with respect to one another, their rank was es- 
tablished according to the period of their ad- 
herence to the Confederation of the Rhine. 

The King of Saxony and the Grand-duke 
Constantine dined with their Majesties. 

At nine in the evening, Napoleon accompa- 
nied the Emperor of Russia to his palace, and 
the two sovereigns remained together for an 
hour and a half. 

The Emperor Alexander accompanied Napo- 
leon to the head of the staircase. 

All the city was illuminated. 

The Princes of Weimar and of Reuss, and 
the Princess of Tour and Taxis, arrived in the 

That evening, by invitation of his Ma- 
jesty, the Emperor Alexander gave the Grand- 
marshal the watchword for the night ; and 


duriiiff the remainder of the meetinoj the two 
sovereigns gave it alternately. 

The 28th. 
According to established custom, the levee 
of the Emperor was held at nine o'clock. The 
officers of the household of the Emperor Alex- 
ander had the honour of being presented to his 
Majesty; and the grandes entrees were granted 
to them for the remainder of the conference. 
Their Majesties were reciprocally w^aited upon 
bv their officers. Those of the French court 
had the honour of being presented to the Em- 
peror Alexander. 

General Oudinot, now INIarshal-duke of 
Keggio, and the generals and colonels of the 
garrison, had the same honour. The Empe- 
rors always breakfasted at their own palaces, 
mutually visited each other during the morn- 
ino- and remained several hours closeted to- 


The Emperor Alexander arrived at the pa- 
lace at six o'clock. The King of Saxony and 
the Grand-duke of Weimar dined with their 
T^Iaiesties and the Grand-duke Constantine. 
They went afterwards to the theatre, where 
the trao-edy of Cinna was performed. 

After the play their Majesties repaired to 


the Russian palace, and continued together un- 
til midnight. 

September 29. 

The King of Saxony, the Prince of Meck- 
lenbourg-Schwerin, the Prince of Neufchatel, 
and the Count of Romanzoff, dined with their 
Majesties ; and then went in the same coach to 
the theatre to see " Andromache" played. The 
Emperor of Russia and all the illustrious stran- 
gers who attended the theatre, seemed to ad- 
mire more and more the master-pieces of the 
French stage, and highly to appreciate the ad- 
mirable talent of Talma and the other actors. 

At the representation of " Cinna," their INIa- 
jesties' box was situated in the centre of the first 
circle fronting the stage. Napoleon thought 
he perceived that, at that distance, the Em- 
peror Alexander did not understand the per- 
formance very well in consequence of a defect 
in his hearing ; and, by orders given to Coimt 
Remusat, his first Chamberlain and Super- 
intendent of the Theatre Fran^ais, a plat- 
form was raised upon the place usually occu- 
pied by the orchestra. Two arm-chairs were 
placed in the centre for the Emperors, and or- 
namented chairs on the right and left for the 
King of Saxony and the otlier sovereigns. The 



box, no longer occupied by tbeir Majesties, was 
reserved for the princesses, &c. &c. 

September 30. 

After dinner their Majesties went to the 
theatre, where " Britannicus" was represented. 
They afterwards retired to the Russian palace. 

Prince William of Prussia, Duke William 

of Bavaria, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, 

and M. de Vincent, the Austrian Ambassador, 

arrived to-day. 

October 1. 

All the Princes of the Confederation who 
continued at Erfurt, were admitted to the 
levee of his Majesty, and every one in his turn 
was invited to their Majesties' table. 

A grand parade was to have taken place to- 
day, but the w^eather would not admit of it. 
Baron Vincent had an audience with the Em- 
peror, which lasted four hours and a half. 

JNIarshal Duke of INIontebello had the honour 
of dining with their Majesties. " Zaire" was the 
performance at the theatre. 

October 2. 

During breakfast, his Majesty received 
M. von Goethe, the author of " Werter," and 
other works celebrated in Germany and in 
France. He conversed with him for a long 


After dinner their INIajesties visited tlie the- 
atre and saw " INIithridates" played. 

October 3. 

Their Majesties mounted their liorses at three 
o'clock in the morning, and went to review 
the first regiment of hussars. In the evening 
" (Edipus" was played in their presence. 

As I have before said, the situation occupied 
by their JNIajesties was that formerly allotted 
to the musicians, who were removed to the side 
wing. The seats of the two Emperors were 
raised above the level of the pit about a foot ; 
and those for the kings and sovereigns were 
placed a little lower, and to the right and 
left of the Emperors. The line of demarcation 
which commonly separates the orchestra from 
the pit, no longer existed. The first row of 
the pit was occupied by the attendants on their 
Majesties, and all the others were devoted to 
the princes, nobles, and the most considerable 
personages. I am desirous of making these 
localities known, and of showing clearly that 
the two Emperors were really seen, and that 
they could not make a single motion or a sin- 
gle gesture without its being perceived. In 
the first scene of Oedipus, Philoctetes says to 
Dimas, his friend and confidant, — 

" A great man's friendship is a gift of the god's !" 

K 2 


At tliat verse, become for ever celebrated, we 
saw the Emperor Alexander turn towards 
Napoleon, and present to him his hand, with 
all the grace possible, and an expression which 
seemed to say — " 1 count upon yours." All 
the spectators made the same flattering appli- 
cation ; on which we saw Napoleon bow, 
with an air of refusing to take to himself so 
embarrassing a compliment. I was eager to 
know what actually had been said; at the 
evening audience, I approached Prince Talley- 
rand, and asked him if he had remarked what 
had passed during the first scene of CEdijius. 
" I observed it so much," said the Prince, " that 
I am come to ask the Emperor to have the 
goodness to inform me, how, and in what terms 
the application of that verse had been made 
to him by the Emperor Alexander." M. de 
Talleyrand remained with the Emperor, and I 
waited until he retired, when he had the good- 
ness not to leave me in any doubt upon the in- 
terpretation, which I had given to that expres- 
sion of the sentiments of the Emperor Alex- 

The King of Wurtemburg arrived during 
the play. 

October 4. 

His INIajesty transacted business with his mi- 


iiisters, and then received the government of 
the low country of Erfurt. 

The King of Wurtemberg arrived at noon, 
to visit his Majesty, who advanced to receive 
him as far as the attendance-hall, and after- 
wards re-conducted him to the door of entrance 
of the second chamber. 

To-day his INIajesty sent a snufF-box, set with 
diamonds, to INI. de Marshall, minister from the 
Duchy of Nassau, as a testimony of the grati- 
fication he had experienced on learning the 
promptitude with which the Duke of Nassau 
had put his quota of troops upon the march, as 
well as at the fine condition in which they 

The Emperor bestowed the grand cordon 
of the legion of honour on the Count of 
Romanzoff, the Russian INIinister for Foreign 

The Duke of INIontebello and M. de Cham- 
pagny, the Foreign INIinister, were authorized 
by the Emperor to accept and to wear the 
grand cordon of St. Andrew of Russia. 

At four o'clock the Emperors mounted on 
horseback, and reviewed the seventeenth regi- 
ment of light infantry, which performed a va- 
riety of manoeuvres. 

The King of Wurtemberg, the King of 


Saxony, &c,, dined with their Majesties. In 
order not to repeat the same thing continually, 
let it be said once for all, that the Kino-s and 
Sovereign Princes dined every day with the 
two Emperors. 

" Iplugenia in Aid'is" was performed. 

The Emperor, pleased with the fine order of 
the first regiment of hussars, which he had 
reviewed on the 3rd, made different promo- 
tions, granting some promotion, and some 
the legion of honour. M. de Juniac, Colonel 
of the regiment, was made knight of the 
iron crown. 

October 5. 

The King of Bavaria and the Prince Primate 
arrived in the morning, and paid a visit to the 
Emperor, as did also the King and Queen of 

His Majesty received them with tlie same ce- 
remony as he had observed towards the King 
of Saxony, and a few hours afterwards re- 
turned their visit. 

" Phaedra" was represented. 

The evening terminated as usual at the 
Russian palace, where the Emperors remained 
alone for two hours. 

October 6. 

Their I\Iajesties having accepted an invita- 


tion given them by the reign mg Duke of 
Weimar, they set out in the same carriage at 

In an hour they arrived at the forest of 
Ettersburg, where the Grand-duke of Weimar 
had had a hunting paviUon constructed ; it was 
elegantly decorated and divided by columns 
into three parts ; the centre one was more ele- 
vated than the others, and was reserved for 
the Emperors. 

The arrival of the two Monarchs was 
announced by the acclamations of an im- 
mense multitude and by a flourish of trum- 
pets from orchestras which were placed near 
the pavilion. 

The Duke of Weimar and the hereditary 
Prince his son, received their JNIajcsties, on 
their descent from their carriage. On entering 
the hall, they found the King of Bavaria, the 
King of Wurtemberg, the King of Saxony, 
the Prince Primate, the Duke of Oldenburg, 
Prince William of Prussia, and tlie Princes of 
Mecklenburg, who had arrived separately. 

T'heir JNIajesties were accompanied by the 
Grand-duke Constantine ; the Prince of Neuf- 
chatel ; the Prince of Benevento ; the Count of 
Tolstoy, Grand-marshal of Russia ; the Duke 
of Frioul, Grand-marshal of the palace; tlic 


Dukes of Vicenza and of Rovigo ; General 
Lauriston, aide-de-camp to his Majesty ; Count 
Oggeroski, aide-de-camp general to the Emperor 
Alexander : General Nansouty, first master of 
the horse to his Majesty ; M. Eugene de INlon- 
tesquiou, Chamberlain ; IM. Cavaletti, master 
of the horse to his Majesty ; and myself. 

Their INIajesties, after having taken some 
refreshments which were presented to them by 
the Duke of Weimar, amused themselves with 
firing from their pavilion for nearly two hours 
at some stags and roebucks which were obliged 
to pass at some paces from them. 

The Emperor of Russia, in consequence of 
the weakness of his sight, had never liked the 
amusements of the chase. This day he felt a 
desire to shoot ; the Duke of Montebello had 
the honour of presenting him with a gun, and 
M. de Beauterne the honour of giving him the 
first lesson. 

The first shot which the Emperor Alexander 
fired, struck down a stag of a fine size : it is 
right to say that the animal passed him at eight 

In the course of the two hours there were 
fifty-seven stags and roebucks killed. Their 
IMajesties then went to the palace of Weimar, 
where they were received on alighting from 


their carriage by the reigning Duchess, attended 
by her whole court. 

Their Majesties, after an hour of repose in 
their apartments, repaired to the saloon of the 
Duchess of Weimar, where the Queen of West- 
phalia had already arrived. 

At the table of their Majesties were admit- 

The Queen of Westphalia, the Duchess 
of Weimar, the King of Bavaria, the King 
of Saxony, the Grand-duke Constantine, the 
Prince Primate, Prince AVilliam of Prussia, the 
Duke of Oldenburg, the Prince of Mecklen- 
burg Schwerin, the Duke of Weimar, the here- 
ditary Prince of Weimar, the Prince of Neuf- 
chatel, Prince Talleyrand. 

The Grand-duke of Weimar had had the 
complaisance to ask Grand-marshal, the Duke 
of Frioul what was most agreeable to the 
taste of tlie Emperor, but liis Majesty pre- 
ferred the German dinner of the Duke of 

After dinner their Majesties went to the 
theatre, passing through a double line formed 
by the guards of the Duke of Weimar, and the 
guard of the city. 

The play was " The Death of Casar," wliich 
was performed by his Majesty's com{)any of 


comedians, who had received instructions to 
repair to Weimar for the occasion. 

After the performance, their INIajesties re- 
turned to the palace of the Duke, and the 
evening terminated with a ball, which was 
opened by the Emperor Alexander and the 
Queen of Westphalia. The assembly was not, 
properly speaking, a dancing one ; it was a 
promenade, two and two, while the orchestra 
played a Polish march. The Emperor Alex- 
ander never dances ; and such a reserve is com- 
mendable in a sovereign. 

During the ball, Napoleon conversed for a 
length of time with two men justly celebrated 
for their literary talents throughout Germany, 
M. Wieland and M. von Goethe. Their Majes- 
ties retired to their apartments at midnight. 

October 7- 

After their levee, their ^lajesties paid a vi- 
sit to the Duchess of Weimar. The Emperor 
Napoleon entertained the highest respect for 
that princess, who was distinguished by many 
virtues and estimable qualities ; this feeling 
dated from the campaign of 1806. After 
the battle of Jena, the French army entered 
in full force into Weimar, and that city would 
have been pillaged, as well as the palace, but 
for the noble conduct of that Princess, who ap- 


pealed to tlie heart and to the generosity of the 
conqueror. The Emperor was so affected with 
what tlie Princess tlieri said, that from that 
moment he never ceased to bestow on her 
marks of real respect. 

The Emperors entered their carriage at half- 
past nine to go to JNIount Napoleon, near Jena. 
They breakfasted under a tent which the Duke 
of Weimar had had erected upon the very spot 
where the Emperor had bivouacked the night 
before that celebrated battle. 

A pavilion of a thousand square feet, and 
decorated with plans of the battle of Jena, was 
erected upon the Windknollen, the highest point 
of JNIount Napoleon. 

It was under this pavilion that their Majes- 
ties received a deputation from the city and 
university of Jena. The Emperor Napoleon 
entered into particular details with the depu- 
ties upon the situation of the city and the 
Catholic church; and he was desirous of taking 
upon himself the reparation of all the damages 
which had been caused by the conflagration, and 
the long establishment of a military hospital 
there. He promised to endow, in perpetuity, the 
Catholic benefice of the city ; he gave 300,000 
francs to accom])lish these different objects, and 
distributed large gratuities to the inliabitants of 


Jena, in consideration of the losses they had 
suffered during the war. 

Their INIajesties then mounted on horseback, 
and examined successively all the positions 
which the armies had occupied on the eve and 
the day of the battle of Jena, and afterwards 
went to the Plain of Aspolda, where the Duke 
of AVeimar had prepared a very extensive en- 
closure for shooting. 

The Emperors returned to Erfurt in their 
carriage at about five o'clock in the afternoon. 
Their JMajesties' dinner-table formed half an 
oval, the Emperors occupying the centre, and 
the other sovereigns sitting on their right and 
left, according to their rank ; but no one ever 
sat on the side opposite ; I stood there in front 
of the illustrious guests, and could hear every 
thing that they said. 

Upon this occasion the conversation turned 
upon the Golden Bull, which, until the establish- 
ment of the Confederation of the llhine, had 
served for the constitution and the regiilation 
of the election of the Emperors, the number 
and rank of the electors, &c. The Prince Pri- 
mate entered into some particulars respecting 
this Golden Bull, which, he said, was issued in 
1409. Napoleon observed that the date which 
he assigned to its promulgation was not correct. 


and that it was proclaimed in 1336, in the 
reign of the Emperor Charles IV. " It is true, 
Sire, replied the Prince Primate ; I was mis- 
taken ; but how comes it that your Majesty 
is so well acquainted with such subjects ?" 
" When I was only sub-lieutenant of artil- 
lery," said Napoleon, — which commencement 
excited an expression of strong interest on the 
part of his august guests — '' when I had the 
honour of being merely a sub-lieutenant of 
artillery," continued he, smiling, " I remained 
three years in garrison at Valence. I had 
little liking for the world, and lived retired. 
A fortunate chance brought me in contact 
with a well-informed and extremely complai- 
sant bookseller. I read and re-read his library 
through in the course of the three years, and 
I have forgotten nothing, even of those sub- 
jects which had no bearing upon my station. 
Nature moreover has gifted me with a memory 
of figures. It very often happens that while 
with my ministers, I recapitulate to them, in 
detail, the whole figures of their oldest ac- 

There was a well-placed pride in thus speak- 
ing of himself in presence of Europe, repre- 
sented, to use the expression, at this banquet of 


The hereditary Grand-duke of Baden and 
the Princess Stephania, his consort, arrived at 
Erfurt in the evening. 

There was no performance at the theatre this 
evening, the actors having scarcely had time to 
return from Weimar. 

October 8. 

The Prince and Princess of Baden made 
the customary visit. 

His Majesty had the goodness to authorize 
me to accept and wear the grand decoration of 
the royal civil Order of Merit, with which his 
Majesty the King of Wurtemberg had deigned 
to honour me. 

Their Majesties went on horseback at four 
o'clock, to view the citadel and fortifications of 

As they were passing through the dining- 
room, the Emperor Alexander wishing to take 
off his sword, perceived that he had forgotten 
it and left it at his palace. Napoleon disen- 
gaged his, and presenting it to Alexander with 
all the grace possible, entreated him to accept it. 
The Emperor of Russia received it earnestly, 
and as I preceded them, I heard him say these 
words ; " I accept it is a mark of your friend- 
ship : your Majesty is well assured that I shall 
never draw it against you ! ! !" 


The Emperor made many promotions in the 
sixteenth regiment of cuirassiers. 

" Rodogune'' was performed. 

The Duchess of Hisburghausen arrived this 
evening. Prince WiUiam of Prussia took leave 
of their Majesties. 

As usual, the evening terminated at the Rus- 
sian palace. 

October 9. 
Their Majesties continued alone in their 
palaces until three o'clock, when they mounted 
on horseback, and went to see the sixteenth 
regiment of cuirassiers manoeuvre. The Em- 
peror Alexander openly expressed his satisfac- 
tion at the quickness and the precision of the 

After dinner, the King and Queen of West- 
phalia, and the Prince Primate took leave of 
their INIajesties to return to their dominions. 

The tragedy of " JNIahomet" was represented. 

The evening was concluded at the Russian 
palace. The private conversation of their Ma- 
jesties lasted three hours. 

October 10. 

M. de Bigi, military commandant of Erfurt, 
was decorated with the cross of the lepion of 



Rliadamistus" was performed at the thea- 
tre, and the evening concUided as usual. 

October 11. 
The hereditary prince of Hesse Homburg 
and the Prince of Waldeck, arrived at Erfurt. 
At four o'clock their Majesties made a tour 
of the city on horseback, and then returned to 
Napoleon's palace. The Emperor Alexander, 
wishing to amend some disorder in his dress, 
went into tlie private apartments, on the invi- 
tation of Napoleon, and was attended upon by 
his valet-de-chambre. The Emperor Alexander 
having examined with attention and admired 
the various articles which composed two beau- 
tiful gilt travelling services used by the Em- 
peror, his Majesty hastened to send them the 
same evening to the palace of the Emperor of 
Russia. The two services were new, and of 
costly workmanship. 

The comedians had the honour of performing 
the " Cid" before their Majesties, who separated 
an hour after midnight. 

October 12. 

By a decree his Majesty bestowed the cross 
of the legion of honour upon INI. von Goethe, 
Privy Counsellor to the Duke of Weimar ; 
also on Wieland, Starlk, the chief physician of 
Jena ; and Wagel, burgomaster of Jena. 


" Manlius" was performed. The meeting at 
the Russian palace was prolonged until three 
quarters of an hour after midnight. 

October 13. 

Professor Erliard of Leipsick, had the honour 
of being admitted to his Majesty, and of pre- 
senting him with a German version of the Code 

Immediately afterwards his INIajesty received 
in his cabinet the credentials of General Count 
of Tolstoy, the Russian Ambassador, who was 
recalled from that office to serve with the army. 

Three of his Majesty's carriages, each drawn 
by six horses, had attended the Ambassador 
from his hotel, and afterwards conveyed him 
thither. The Count of Remusat, the first Cham- 
berlain, discharged the functions of grand- 
master of the ceremonies on the occasion. The 
Ambassador was presented to his Majesty 
by Prince Talleyrand, Vice-grand-elector, per- 
forming the duties of Arch-chancellor of the 
empire. At the conclusion of the audience, 
the Count of Tolstoy received the grand deco- 
ration of the legion of honour. 

To-day orders were given for the approach- 
ing departure of their INlajesties. 

Rich and magnificent presents were distri- 
buted on the part of both the Emperors, to the 



ministers, great officers, and officers of their 

The Emperor of Russia, in testimony of his 
satisfaction, sent very handsome presents to all 
of his Majesty's comedians, and to INI. Dazin- 
court the manager. 

The Emperor sent the dean of Meimung, 
who had twice officiated as almoner at the pa- 
lace, a ring with his initials set in diamonds, 
and fifty gold Napoleons to each of the eccle- 
siastics who had assisted. 

The Emperor Alexander presented the Duke 
of Vicenza with the grand order of St. Andrew, 
and the Princes of Neufchatel and Benevento, 
with the star of that order in diamonds. 

The hereditary Prince of Hesse-Homburg 
obtained permission of the Emperor to enter 
the Austrian service. 

The Emperor made Count Tolstoy, grand 
marshal of Prussia, a present of the fine Gobe- 
lin hangings and the Sevres porcelain, which 
had been sent to Erfurt by the yeoman of the 

Baja%et was the last tragedy performed be- 
fore their Majesties, who then retired to the 
Russian palace, where they remained together 
until one in the morning. 


October 14. 

After his levee, the Emperor granted an au- 
dience to the Baron de Vincent, envoy from 
Austria, and gave him a letter in reply to that 
from the Emperor of Austria. 

At eleven o'clock, the Emperor Alexander 
visited the Emperor, who received him and at- 
tended him on his leaving, with aU the cere- 
monies which had been previously observed. 

On the Grand-duke Constantine taking his 
leave. Napoleon presented him with a sword of 
which the handle was gold and of admirable 
workmanship. That valiant Prince, who had 
never ceased during his stay at Erfurt to honour 
me with his favour, embraced me, saying, "That 
he was not so powerful as his brother, and that 
he was dispensed from making presents ; but 
that if I should ever visit Russia, he would treat 
me well and provide me good entertainment." 
These kind words were of more value to me 
than the richest present. ISIost certainly, if in 
our fatal retreat from IMoscow, I had had the 
misfortune to be made prisoner, I should not 
have hesitated to reclaim the promise of the 
Grand-duke Constantine, and as certainly I 
should have had once more to praise his good- 
ness. I had the honour of again seeing him 

I. 2 


in 1814, at the time of the Congress at Vienna, 
and he readily renewed his offer. 

The Emperor went to the Russian palace 
with all his court. The two sovereigns, enter- 
ing a carriage, repaired to the spot on the road 
to Weimar, where they met at the commence- 
ment of the conference ; and having embraced, 
and given each other testimonies of the feelings 
which united them, they separated. 

The Emperor Alexander pursued the route 
to Weimar, where he spent two days, and then 
returned to his dominions. The Prince of Vi- 
cenza was charged with the honourable mission 
of accompanying him ; and the same honours 
which had been paid him on his arrival, were 
equally observed as far as the frontiers of Po- 

The 14th was one of the anniversaries of 
the battle of Jena. Napoleon set out the same 
day, travelled incognito, and arrived at St. 
Cloud at half-past nine in the evening of the 
18th of October. 

The two great potentates who met at Erfurt, 
and partitioned Europe between them, never 
again met but in opposition, the one fighting 
against the other. Both of them are dead ; the 
one upon the homicidal rock of St. Helena, and 
the other upon the arid shores of the sea of Azof ! 



Departure of Napoleon for Spain. — His arrival at Vittoria. — 
Battle before Burgos. — Taking of that city. — Stay at 
Aranda de Duero. — The Emperor arrives before INIadrid 
on Dec. 2nd. — Attack on the Retiro, on the 3rd. — Capitu- 
lation of iMadrid on the 4th. — Obstinate defence of the 
Body-guard in the Barracks. — Order to inspect the Royal 
Palace of Madrid. — The Marquis of Saint Simon^ Grandee 
of Spain, condemned to death and pardoned. — Napoleon 
visits Madrid and the Royal Palace incognito. — The Fan- 
dango. — First indications of a War against Austria. — An 
Audience granted to the Monks of the different orders 
at Valladolid. 

Oct. 18, 1808. 
Scarcely had we arrived from Erfurt when 
we were occupied with preparations for a journey 
to Madrid. This time the preparations were mili- 
tary, and there was no mention of the P]mpress 
Josephine, who remained at Paris. Napoleon 
set out on the 29th, and arrived at Bayonne on 
the 3rd of November. Tlie persons appointed 
followed as they coidd. Count I'hilip Scgur 


and I, each in our calash, travelled as far as 
Bayonne. I was suffering greatly from the 
gout in one of my feet, and I eased it with an 
opium liniment. 

Napoleon stopped but a few days at Bay- 
onne ; on the 7th of November he arrived 
at Vittoi'ia, in the centre of his army. He 
found his brother there, and some faithful Spa- 
niards, who had not abandoned him. The de- 
cisive victory which General Bessieres, Duke 
of I stria, had gained at INIedina-del-Rio-Seco, 
over the army of Estremadura, commanded by 
the Captain-general Cuesta (a victory which in 
a great measure was to be attributed to the 
brilliant courage and the bold plans of General 
d'Armagnac,) had enabled the French army to 
establish itself successfully at Vittoria, to await 
there the reinforcements which the capitulation 
of Baylen rendered necessary. 

The army was put in motion and over- 
whelmed the enemy, who had the imprudence 
to remain before Burgos. That city was ill- 
treated, because we entered it in full force, in 
pursuit of the enemy ; it was even delivered 
up to pillage for several hours, in consequence 
of the inhabitants firing some muskets from 
the windows upon Marshal Bessieres. An im- 
mense number of packs of wool were found 


in Burgos, which were publicly sold at Bay- 

It was at Burgos on the 12th of November, 
that Napoleon issued a decree, which placed 
without the pale of the law, and ordered the 

* I never saw a more strange and fantastical sight than the 
bivouac-fire of the grenadiers of the imperial guard presented 
in the grand square of the Archbishopric, where the Emperor 
lodged. A bright and brilliant fiame, fed with guitars^ man- 
dolins, etc., had boiling on one side immense kettles, which 
had been taken from the convents, and in which were heaps of 
game, poultry, and butcher's meat; and on the other, enor- 
mous legs of mutton were roasting, suspended from batons 
by cords. The soldiers, seated upon large gilt chairs, covered 
with crimson damask, gaily smoked their pipes, and occu- 
pied themselves with turning the legs of mutton, and care- 
fully skimming the kettles, while they conversed on the 
events of the war. 

The sacking of Burgos was accompanied with excesses of 
a more serious kind. The woman-servant of a convent had 
the unhappiness to fall into the hands of twenty soldiers, all 
of whom were smitten with a passion for her fresh and plump 
appearance. When conversing with her, for I had received 
orders to try to collect from her such information as might 
lead to the detection and punishment of the guilty, she mildly 
replied : " I kept my eyes shut ! and I hope that God will 
not punish me for sins, to which I never gave my consent." 
On the whole, she appeared to me perfectly resigned under 
the occurrence of so many grievous accidents. Upon the 
report which I made to the Emperor, he gave her assistance 
and protection. 


sequestration of the property of the Dukes of 
lufantado, of Hijar, of JNIedina, of Santa-Cruz, 
of Fernand-Nunes, of Altamira^ of the Prince 
of Castel-Franco, and of Cevallos, who had vio- 
lated the oath taken to King Joseph. The Bis- 
hop of Santander, who had shown himself one 
of our most violent enemies, was treated in the 
same manner. 

Head-quarters were removed from Burgos 
on the 22!d to Lerma, and on the 23d to Aran- 
da, where we continued. During, our stay 
there I translated for the Emperor the official 
declaration of war by Spain against France, its 
dominions, and its people, &c. That royal pro- 
clamation of the Central Junta of the Govern- 
ment of the Spanish Peninsula, was publislied 
in the name of King Ferdinand VII. who was 
in France, forwarded in the form of a circular, 
with forty -five copies, by the minister of war, 
and addressed to the Captain-general of Arra- 
gon, who was himself besieged in Sarragossa. 
Hostilities, however, had continued for eight 
months, and seven days afterwards we entered 
Madrid as conquerors. On tlie 29th we were 
at Bosceguillas, at about three leagues from 
Somma Sierra. The night was cold and damp. 
M. de Segur and I were lying in a gi'anary, 
which contained cut straw according to the 

COUNT SEGUll. 153 

fashion of the couivtry. Being unable, notwith- 
standing every precaution, to keep ourselves 
warm, we repaired to the bivouac nearest to 
the tent of Napoleon, who, seeing himself on 
the point of engaging in an important affair, was 
iniable to sleep. At three o'clock in the morn- 
ing he came to warm himself at our fire ; he wore 
a superb fur, which had been presented to him 
by the Emperor Alexander. Orders were soon 
given for the march of the army : its progress 
was slow, because it was frequently necessary 
to repair the roads which the Spaniards had 
broken up in several places. It was eight 
o'clock when the General arrived at the foot 
of that famous position, which was gained after 
three brilliant charges of the Polish light- 
horse, and the chasseurs of the guard. It was 
in one of these attacks that Philip de Segur. 
my noble and valiant friend, was seriously 
wounded by three balls ; his horse and his gar- 
ments were shot through and through. The 
Count of Turenne, then an artillery officer to 
the Emperor, rendered him the first assistance, 
and supported him in the middle of the grape- 
shot to which Napoleon himself was ex])oscd. 
The terror of the Spaniards on seeing their bat- 
tery taken by the light cavahy of the g\iard, 
was such, that in less than an instant the twelve 


thousand enemies disappeared, as if by enchant- 
ment. Segur was conveyed to Buitrago, and 
the Emperor commanded one of his surgeons 
to attend him. We arrived before Madrid on 
the 1st of December, without having encoun- 
tered a single Spaniard. 

The head-quarters were established at Champ 
Martin, a little country house, belonging to the 
mother of the Duke of Infantado, and about a 
quarter of a league distant from IMadrid. 

Prince Murat, during his stay in the city, 
had fortified the palace of the Retiro in a man- 
ner which rendered it difficult of access. The 
Spaniards were in possession of it, and defend- 
ed it valiantly. This was the most important 
point of attack ; the capital having nothing to 
protect it but a common wall, resembling that 
which encircles Paris. 

Napoleon, stationed upon a little eminence 
which commanded Madrid, in front of the gate 
of Puencarral, confined himself on that side to 
a moderate attack, and waited for the execu- 
tion of the orders he had given for the assault 
on the Retiro, being desirous not to deliver to 
his brother a city in ashes. Once master of the 
Retiro, the entrance into the interior was easy. 
The Spaniards at one time intended to defend 
it to the last extremity ; and some of the prin- 


cipal streets, that of Alcala among others, were 
unpaved to deaden the effect of the shells. 

The 2nd of December was spent in an ex- 
change of shot, and in bringing closer the lines 
of attack. The light cavalry, under the orders 
of Marshal Bessieres, had already occupied a 
radius of three leagues about the city, and 
intercepted a crowd of people, who fled far 
from an unfortified city, Avhich the imprudent 
inhabitants intended to defend against a nume- 
rous and victorious army. 

On the morning of the 3rd, Napoleon occu- 
pied the same station as before, when an aide- 
de-camp of Marshal Bessieres brought him a 
bundle of Spanish papers, seized by the cavalry 
of the guard, in a trunk belonging to General 
Coupigni, (or Bouligni,) who had escaped from 
Madrid. He had been one of the general offi- 
cers of Castanos at the affair which led to the 
capitulation of Baylen. His name was known 
to the Emperor, who finding among the pa- 
pers a private journal of that general officer, 
called me and ordered me to read it, trans- 
lating to him at once the parts which had any 
reference to that capitulation. I found myself 
here then, with my hat under my arm, and the 
Spanish manuscript in my hand, marching with 
my gout at the side of Napoleon, who walked 


slowly, without taking much notice of the pro- 
jectiles which were discharged at us from the 
highest points of Madi'id. He paid the great- 
est attention to what I read, and ordered me to 
send a translation to the minister of war. 

Once masters of the Retiro, we becanje 
masters of the city. After several conferences 
it capitulated on the 4th, at six o'clock in the 
morning. The post-office, which was occupied 
by the people, and the new barracks of the 
body-guard, of which that force had possession^ 
were the last places which held out. The bar- 
rack was a building which had been recently 
erected, of the strongest proportions; the walls 
were more than six feet thick, and the doors 
were iron. The most resolute had shut them- 
selves inside, with arms and ammunition ; and 
they had even transported cannons thither, 
which they pointed from all the windows of 
the first story. All the other windows of this 
great building were furnished with an armed 
multitude, who discharged a shower of balls 
upon the first French troops who presented 
themselves. The discharge of the cannons 
took place at the same time, with a frightful 
noise. This isolated redoubt, in the centre of 
a great yard, was inaccessible, and it vomited 
forth death from every side. It was not until 


two hours had elapsed that the corregidor and 
the alcades could advance and issue their orders 
to the men within it to cease firing, in conse- 
quence of the city having capitulated. In their 
despair they broke their muskets, spiked their 
cannon, and gave up possession with heartfelt 
rage. If things had not been terminated in 
this manner, it would have been necessary to 
have reduced them by famine, and to have laid 
a regular siege to these barracks, which were 
situated in one of the finest quarters of the 

Before our arrival at Madrid, a Central Junta 
of government was formed, under the presi- 
dency of the Count of Florida-Blanca ; its resi- 
dence was fixed at Aranjuez. Scarcely was it 
installed and recognized, when it found itself 
dissolved by the capture of the capital. It was 
the destiny of all the chiefs of the Spanish 
government to be overthrown a few days after 
their installation. In the course of the year, 
1808, Godoi, Charles IV., Ferdinand, Joseph, 
the Central Junta, and Joseph again, reigned 
by turns ; not to mention Napoleon. 

On the 6th, two days after the capitulation, 
I received orders to inspect the King's palace. 
I foimd it in the best condition. Spaniards, 
whatever circumstances may be, preserve an ad- 


mirable respect for every thing which apper- 
tains to the king. After the compulsory re- 
treat of Joseph, the royal palace was closed, and 
the ministers held their councils at the post- 
office, one of the finest buildings in Madrid. 
This religious preservation of the royal pro- 
perty was such, that the portrait of Napoleon 
on horseback crossing St. Bernard, painted by 
David, and that of the Queen of Spain, the 
spouse of King Joseph,* which decorated the 
reception-hall, were restored to the same place 
which they had occupied, while King Joseph 
held his court in the palace. He found every 
thing else which he had left equally well taken 
care of, even the precious wines, etc. The apart- 
ments of King Charles contained the finest 
collection of watches I have ever seen. I doubt 
whether the three best watchmakers' shops in 
Paris, could furnish one more numerous or 
more varied. They were placed under glasses in 
frames attached to the hangings. The collec- 
tion was the more curious, because it exhi- 
bited the first watches that were invented, and 

* That portrait, after having been a long while in the 
palaces of Paris, Naples, and Madrid, was carried to ISIor- 
fontaine, where it was disfigured by the Prussians, was after- 
wards restored by M. Gerard, and finally sent to New York, 
where it is at present. 


the improvements which the genius of man 
had successively added to them. When I 
made my report to Napoleon of the state in 
which I had found the royal palace, nothing 
could equal his astonishment on my speaking 
of his portrait. In explaining to him this na- 
tional respect for the property of the king, I 
cited the example of the handoUeros, or highway 
robbers, who permit the couriers of the king 
to pass without rifling or molesting them. Son 
correo del reij. That was sufficient — at least 

On the 12th, the Marquis of Saint-Simon, 
Grandee of Spain, born in France, and in the 
service of Spain since the commencement of 
the emigration, had in the department he com- 
manded, the gate of Fuencarral, which was 
in front of the position occupied by Napoleon 
before Madrid. The Retiro was already con- 
quered, as well as the immense gardens of 
Atocha, the Prado, the gates of Alcala, of the 
Recolets, &;c. ; and still they continued to fire 
on us continually from tlie gate of Fuencarral, 
which did not fail to excite much displeasure. 
Saint-Simon having the misfortune to be taken 
prisoner. Napoleon ordered him to be tried 
by a Court-martial; which condemned him 


to be shot. He was about to perish, when 
his daughter, encouraged by the Grand-mar- 
shal and by the aides-de-camp of the Empe- 
ror, who afforded her every facility, implored 
pardon for her father. Napoleon could not re- 
sist the impulse of the noblest sentiments ; and 
the Marquis of Saint-Simon owed his life to 
the virtue and the courage of his daughter. 

Napoleon always resided at Champ-Martin, 
with the army encamped around him. He 
once only, and that incognito, visited Madrid 
and the royal palace. Few persons could be 
lodged at Champ-Martin ; the others were 
established in Madrid in the best houses. 
I shall always remember with gratitude the 
kind reception given me by the Countess of 
Villa Lopez, Calle del Principe. That lady, 
aged and respectable, had not been willing to 
leave Madrid. 

The theatres were open, and^ the Italian 
opera was, as previous to our arrival, perform- 
ed in the principal one. We admired the con- 
stancy of the Spaniards, who eternally saw the 
fandango performed between the pieces to the 
same tune, with the same figures, and with the 
same costume. I expressed my astonishment 
to the Countess of Villa Lopez, who assured me 


that that dance, originally Arabian, had become 
so completely national, that it was impossible 
for a Spaniard to witness its performance with- 
out emotion ; and a gentleman, who resided 
with that lady at the same time I did, told 
me that the fandango, executed in a room by 
the same dancers as on the stage, was carried 
to a degree of perfection which theatrical pro- 
priety would not admit of. Some days after- 
wards I told this to the Duke of llovigo, who 
commanded in JNIadrid, and had all the theatres 
under his influence, and Marshal Bessi^res, the 
Duke of Bassano, the Grand-marshal, d'Hervas, 
his noble brother, and myself, assembled one 
day at the palace of Medina-Coeli, which he 
occupied, in order to witness it. The dancers 
arrived, in costume, at ten o'clock, with their 
little guitar and then* castanets. We took great 
pleasure in the powerful and animated exe- 
cution of these Spanish dances. The dancers 
excited themselves so much that they asked 
permission to give a full loose to their imagi- 
nation. The fandango appeared to me to be 
an allegorical representation of the passions, — 
the enticements, the refusals, the poutings, and 
the reconcilements of love. It is to be pre- 
sumed that the imagination of the spectator 
supplies every thing that is wanting in the 



choregraphical pictures which are presented on 
the stage. It is this invisible sensation which 
identifies itself with, and is modified according 
to the character of each spectator, that serves 
to explain that obstreperous joy which is ex- 
cited by the first note of the violin that an- 
nounces the Jandango. 

Of the six then present there now only remain 
the Dukes of Bassano, of Rovigo, and myself : 
Marshal Bessi^res and the Duke of Frioul 
(Duroc) met with a glorious death upon the 
field of battle; d'Hervas, so fraught with in- 
telligence and noble sentiments, perished by a 
melancholy accident in Spain. That which we 
call living, is nothing more than calculating 
the losses which happen to, and around us. 

January 1, 1809. 

The English retreated and seemed little de- 
sirous of tarrying for Napoleon. After resting 
a day at Benevento we set out for Astorga. 
It was the 1st of January, and the snow fell in 
large and continued flakes. 

After reposing two days at the latter town. 
Napoleon thought it beneath his dignity to 
pursue an enemy who fled in disorder before 
him ; we turned back, and halted at Valla- 


The road over which we had to pursue the 
English was a very difficult one, and we lost a 
great deal of time and many horses. It was 
imagined, from the Spanish maps, that it must 
be an extremely fine one, for it was designated 
the Royal Way, Camino Real. But this mi- 
serable road was called Royal only because it 
served for the couriers of the cabinet on horse- 
back. The Spaniards whom we encountered 
in the towns through which we passed, took 
care not to tell us that the fine road from IMa- 
drid to Leon lay some leagues on our right. 

We arrived at Valladolid on the 6th of Ja- 
nuary. The Emperor appeared more taken up 
with what was preparing in Germany, than the 
occurrences in the Peninsula. I knew that 
Austria had been displeased at not being ad- 
mitted to the conference at Erfurt, and had 
refused to recognize Joseph officially as King 
of Spain, although she had not made any diffi- 
culty previously in acknowledging him as King 
of Naples. This was, 1 think, the original 
cause of the war in 1809, and of our return to 
France before the entire conquest of Spain. 

We remained six days at Valladolid : this 
time was necessary for the new combinations 
which the absence of the cliief woidd require. 

M 2 


During the short time we passed at Valla- 
doHd, Napoleon suppressed the Convent of 
Dominicans, because they had assassinated a 
French officer, whose corpse was discovered in 
the well of the interior of the convent. He 
commanded all the other monks to appear be- 
fore him, and he addressed them with so much 
vehemence, that in the heat of his speech he ex- 
pressed himself somewhat militarily, and plainly 
used a very strong word. I remember that the 
Count of Hedouville acted as an interpreter on 
the occasion, and that in translating verbally the 
language of Napoleon, he passed over in silence 
this technical word, which cannot be translated 
into any language, because it belongs, I believe, 
to all. It was impossible for Napoleon not 
to perceive it : he turned suddenly towards 
Hedouville, and ordered him to dehver the vil- 
lanous word in question with firmness, and the 
same tone as he had done. The young diplo- 
matist had a voice naturally soft and sweet, 
and the repetition was without effect. During 
this expostulation the monks were prostrate at 
the knees of Napoleon. There were only four 
or five of us in attendance, and he left us at the 
end of the room, and mingled with these forty 
monks, some of whom kissed the lower part of 
his dress. If among so great a immber there 


had been one audacious villain, never was there 
a better opportunity for the easy perpetration 
of a crime. Happily the greater part of these 
monks were Benedictines, good, learned, and 
an honour to the profession. This temerity of 
Napoleon excited our anxiety, and we were not 
at ease till the singular scene was terminated. 



Return to Paris — -Preparations for war in France and Ger- 
many — Rapidity of the triumphs of the army — Armistice 
after the battle of Wagram — Return of Napoleon to Fon- 
tainebleau — Arrival of the Austrian Commissioners at 
Schoenbrunn — Congress at Altemburg — Attempt to as- 
sassinate Napoleon ; details of the transaction ; sentence 
and execution of the assassin — Continuation of the nego- 
tiations at Schoenbrunn — Signing of the preliminaries. 

I ARRlvED^at Paris on Saturday, the 28th of 
January ; Napoleon had arrived on the 23rd. 
The day following, Sunday, I went to the palace, 
where I saw the Emperor in the great square 
of the Tuileries, reviewing several regiments 
which were ordered for Spain. I stopped at 
the foot of the peristyle of the grand staircase, 
and saw the Count of Montesquiou coming to- 
wards me, to whom I hastened to give intelli- 
gence respecting his son, who remained in Spain, 
and for whom I entertained a real friendship. 
The Count informed me, that he had just re- 


ceived a decree of the Emperor, which nomi- 
nated him Grand-chamberlain, and that he had 
arrived with all dispatch to take the oath. I 
was the less prepared for this news, because I 
had seen JM. de Talleyrand enter, and had not 
remarked any thing in his countenance which 
could have led me to suppose that he himself 
was the object of so great a change. 

To the motives which I have already noticed 
as inducing the warlike attitude of Austria, 
should be added the hope she had conceived of 
repairing the losses which she had suffered by 
the treaty of Presburg. Seeing a great por- 
tion of the French army employed in Spain, she 
multiplied her outrages, had a French officer 
arrested on her frontiers, who was conveying 
dispatches to our Charge d'affah-es at Vienna, 
and took from him his papers, and read them. 
The cabinet of the Tuileries made reprisals, 
and had an Austrian courier arrested at Nancy. 
That power then inundated Germany with vi- 
rulent proclamations, made an appeal to all the 
subjects of the Confederation of tne Rhine, 
created a species of conscription under the name 
of landwert, made immense preparations, on 
the 4th of February, a})pointed the Gcnerals- 
in-cliief wlio were to command its numerous 
armies, and ])ublished the name of the Archduke 


Charles as Generalissimo. That Prince, of a 
mild and amiable character, and acknowledged 
as the best general of Austria, thought himself 
obhged to issue several proclamations in order 
to interest the Austrians to range themselves 
under his banners, to fight against an enemy 
who was not yet named, in case that unknown 
enemy should menace the hereditary States of 
Austria. The government of those States, on 
its side, prescribed vigorous measures for the 
supply of the armies with provisions, and feign- 
ing that a new aggression was apprehended, 
asserted that the Emperor of Austria assembled 
so many troops only for the protection of his 
dominions. But Austria had not taken into 
account the activity, the genius, and the power 
of Napoleon. In a short time formidable ar- 
mies were mustered upon the Rhine, without 
weakening those which were already in Spain ; 
and all the sovereigns of the confederation, 
faithful to their engagements, placed themselves 
in a warlike position. 

In the beginning of April, the Archduke 
Charles, imagining there was a French army in 
Bavaria, made it known that he had received 
orders from the Emperor his brother, to repair 
to that country, and to treat as enemies all who 
should offer him any opposition. A similar 


declaration was addressed to Russia, the ally of 
France, &c. In consequence of that communi- 
cation, the Austrian army entered Bavaria 
on the 10th and 11th of April. Meanwhile 
Prince Metternich, the Austrian ambassador, 
remained at Paris without demanding his pass- 

A telegraphic dispatch made this new inva- 
sion of Bavaria known at Paris. Napoleon set 
out for Strasbourg on the 13th, and arrived 
there at four o'clock in the morning of the 
16th, with the Empress Josephine, whom he 
left there. He crossed the Rhine at the head 
of his fine army, and hastened to the as- 
sistance of Bavaria. He overthrew the Aus- 
trian army, and victorious at every step, lie 
was at the gates of Vienna on the 12tli of INIay. 
Master of the Austrian capital, he marched his 
armies to the banks of the Danube, in order to 
pursue an enemy who continually escaped from 
him. The military registers have given pub- 
licity to the details of that memorable cam- 
paign. Among so many glorious combats, the 
official bulletins sionalized that of Abensbero- 
wliich did so mucli honour to General Clapa- 
rede, my coinitryman and my friend. 

When Austria saw her armies destroyed, her 
provinces, and even her kingdom invaded, she 


proposed an armistice ; and Napoleon had the 
generosity to consent to one. If he had been 
as ambitious as he has been represented by 
his detractors, he had then a fine opportu- 
nity for gratifying his ambition. Austria, after 
the battle of Wagram, was in a desperate posi- 
tion. Russia, which made common cause with 
France, had her armies, commanded by Prince 
Galitzin, vipon the frontiers of Austrian Gali- 
cia ; the Polish army, led by the illustrious 
Poniatowsky, had driven back every thing 
which had been opposed to it, and marched 
upon Bohemia ; and the army of Italy, victo- 
rious at aU points, under the orders of its va- 
liant general, had advanced to the centre of 
Hungary. All the corps of the French army 
pressed upon Austria at every point, and 
it was generous— rthat is the word — on the 
part of Napolebn to grant an armistice to an 
enemy whom he had conquered for the third 
time, and who had provoked him in the most 
injurious manner. 

The French army maintained its positions 
and took up its cantonments. Napoleon re- 
turned to Schcenbrunn, and the Austrian com- 
missioners soon arrived there. They were the 
Prince John of Lichtenstein and the Count of 
Bubna. M . de Champagny on the part of France, 


and M. de Metternicli, returned from France, 
on the part of Austria, repaired to Altemburg, 
a little town upon the frontiers of Hungary. 
This Congress was one of an entirely new 
species, for it did not treat upon any sub- 
ject. Napoleon alone, directly and at Schoen- 
brunn, treated respecting the conditions of the 
peace. Prince John and the Count of Bubna 
came several times in the week, breakfasted 
with Napoleon, conferred with him for an hour 
or two, and returned straight to Comorn, the 
head-quarters of the Emperor of Austria. 
There was no communication with the diplo- 
matists at Altemburg, at least on the part of 
France. These gentlemen, while waiting for 
documents, amused themselves with giving 
fetes to the ladies of that little town. 

I always thought that the real secret arti- 
cle of this peace, which was being discussed, 
was the marriage of Napoleon with the Arch- 
duchess INIaria-Louisa. I observed the coun- 
tenances of the two proxies of Austria with 
attention when they breakfasted with the Em- 
peror ; I interrogated their looks, and I thouglit 
that I could discern every day an increase of 
harmony and mutual good imderstanding. It 
was evident to me that they had no serious 
difficulty respecting the material or ordinary 


interests of the two powers, and that all de- 
pended upon a point beyond the line of dis- 
cussions of that nature. The politeness and 
attention displayed by Napoleon to the com- 
missioners did not contradict it for an instant. 
He seemed anxious to give them a favourable 
idea of his manners and his person. On one 
day only, in their absence, did I hear him ex- 
press himself in a manner which induced me 
to think that matters were not proceeding ac- 
cording to his wish. He left his closet with 
the Prince of Neufchatel, and continuing the 
conversation till he reached his seat at the break- 
fast-table, 1 heard these words, which I have 
never forgotten : — " To settle all, I shall send 
for the Granduke of Wurtzbourg, and place 
upon his head the imperial crown of Austria." 

In the course of these negotiations. Napo- 
leon, according to his custom, reviewed the dif- 
ferent corps of the army. The parade took 
place every morning at nine o'clock in the large 
and beautiful square of the palace of Sclioen- 
brunn. He descended from the palace by a 
fine double staircase, in the form of a horseshoe. 
Generally speaking, the officers of the army 
and of the guard who were not upon duty, 
attended upon the lower steps and at the foot 
of the staircase ; this was particularly the case 


with those who had any thing to ask from 
Napoleon, who always stopped to listen to 
them, and to receive their petitions. One day, 
being desirous to review two or three lines of 
French prisoners, who had been conducted to 
head-quarters, in consequence of an exchange 
taking place, and to knoAV, from their recital, 
the time, the day, the place, and the manner of 
their being taken prisoners, he did not stop 
at all on descendino; the staircase, but at once 
went to the troops. A person, clothed in a 
plain blue riding-coat and a military hat, with 
a metal button, bearing upon it the eagle, but 
without a cockade, and holding a paper in his 
hand, seeing that Napoleon did not stop, in- 
sisted on following him, and presenting his 
petition himself. The Prince of Neufchatel, 
who followed the Emperor, told this person 
he could present his petition when the parade 
was finished; Napoleon, occupied with the 
prisoners, did not observe what was taking 
place behind him. Notwithstanding' the ob- 
servation of the Prince of Neufchatel, the man 
continued to follow, pretending that the sub- 
ject of his request would not occasion any de- 
lay, and that he wished to speak to Napoleon. 
General Rapp, the aid-de-camp on duty, seeing 
that he persisted in mingling with the general 


officers who followed the Emperor, stopped him 
by the collar of his coat, desiring him warmly to 
retire ; in doing so. General Rapp felt the han- 
dle of an instrument which the man had in his 
side-pocket: he grasped him more strongly, and 
made a sign to two of the picked gens-d' armes 
who were always on duty to maintain order. 
The man was arrested, and conducted immedi- 
ately to the guard-house, which was under my 
apartment. I myself was at one of my win- 
dows, which being the best situated for seeing 
the parade, were often occupied by ladies from 
Vienna. That day I had the honour of receiv- 
ing the Countess of Bellegarde, wife of the Field 
Marshal, and the Princess of Furstemberg ; I 
was close to them, and I pointed out the dif- 
ferent personages who passed before us. Like 
myself, they observed the arrest which had 
taken place, and curious to know the cause, 
they intreated me to seek for information. I 
addressed myself to General Rapp, who related 
to me everything that had transpired, and in- 
formed me, that the individual having been 
searched in the guard-house, a knife was dis- 
covered on him with a long blade, sharpened 
at both sides, and which could not have been 
where it was, but for the purpose of assassinat- 
ing the Emperor ; that moreover, the wearer of 


the dangerous instrument did not hesitate to 
acknowledge that such had been his intention. 
I returned to the ladies, to render them an ac- 
count of what I had learned, and they testified 
an extreme horror against the author of so cul- 
pable a project. It is a certain, positive, and 
incontestable fact, that Napoleon knew no- 
thing whatever of the transaction during the 
parade, and that no report was made to him 
until he had returned to his apartments. He 
had the fanatic brought before liim, who said 
that he was the son of a Protestant minister of 
Erfurt, that he should reckon among the most 
glorious actions of his life, the attempt which 
he had made to deliver Germany from its 
greatest enemy, and that he had left his coun- 
try solely for the pur])ose of executing it. " But 
if I pardon you," said Napoleon, " will you not 
be induced by gratitude to renounce the idea of 
assassinating me ?" " I would not advise you 
to do so," said the wretch, " for I have sworn 
your death." " Surely the man is mad !" said 
Napolean to Corvisart, whom he had sent for ; 
" feel his pulse." Corvisart obeyed, and said 
he could not detect any kind of agitation ; that 
the pulse and lieart were tranquil. This man, 
whose name 1 have forgotten, was conveyed to 
Vienna to prison, where he was closely guarded, 


for some days deprived of sleep, and fed with 
fruits, in order to weaken his constitution, and 
to compel him to reveal the names of his accom- 
plices. He persisted in disclosing nothing, and 
boasted of his project. He was tried by a mili- 
tary commission, and shot. This is the occur- 
rence as it really took place. 

One of the qfficiers de sante of the guard was 
billeted in the liberties of Vienna, on the side 
of Schoenbrann, at the house of an aged ca- 
noness, of the name of Lichstenstein, and who 
was nearly related to Prince John. The de- 
mands of this officer were excessive, and over- 
stepped the bounds of custom. In a moment, 
when the Hungarian wine had somewhat im- 
paired his reason, he conceived the unfortu- 
nate idea of writing a letter to his hostess, 
fraught with terms so extravagant, and at the 
same time so impertinent, that that lady felt 
herself obliged to have recourse to the protec- 
tion of General Andreossy, Governor of Vi- 
enna, in order to be released from so trouble- 
some a guest. In support of her request, she 
sent the letter which had been written by the 
officer, and whose name I have forgotten. This 
epistle, as far as I can call it to mind, began 
thus : — 


" If the Marshal Duke of Dantzic, of glo- 
rious memory, were lodging with you, Madam, 
he would say to you, ' My pretty Princess,' 

The rest of the letter was worthy this exor- 
dium, and while it insulted a respectable prin- 
cess, also injured Marshal Lef^vre, by making- 
use of his name, as an example or as an au- 
thority for multiplying his outrages. General 
Andreossy sent this letter to the Prince of 
Neufchatel, together with that which had been 
written to him by Madame de Lichsten stein. 
Both were laid before Napoleon, who gave an 
order to ^M * * * to attend parade the follow- 
ing morning. It so happened, that the Count 
of Bubna was at Schoenbrunn, and w^as present 
at parade. Napoleon descended the grand 
staircase rapidly, without speaking to any one, 
his countenance inflamed, and holding the 
quarantine officer's letter in his hand. " Send 
IVI * * * here," said he, raising his voice. " Is it 
you who have written and signed this infa- 
mous letter ?" — " Pardon, Sire, it was in a mo- 
ment of inebriation, when I knew not what I 
wrote." — "Wretch! to insult one of my bravest 
lieutenants, and at the same time a canoness 
worthy of respect, and who has akcady enougli 
to complain of, in having to support a portion of 

VOL. \\. N 


the misfortunes of war. I believe not, I ad- 
mit not your excuse. I degrade you from the 
legion of honour ; you are unworthy to wear 
its revered symbol. General d'Orsenne, exe- 
cute my order. To insult an aged female ! I 
respect every aged female as though she were 
my mother !" These were the words I heard, 
and which the Count of Bubna could hear as 
well, for we were both upon the steps of the 
staircase, and witnesses of the scene. The offi- 
cer who is the subject of this note, was, as far 
I could learn, a quiet, inoffensive man, esteem- 
ed in his department as much for his talents as 
his good conduct. These considerations proba- 
bly influenced the pardon which was granted 
him a few days afterwards at the solicitation 
of all his superiors. The first moment past. 
Napoleon always relented, and showed mercy, 
especially to those who had served him with 
zeal and fidelity. 

The conferences between Napoleon and the 
two Austrian commissioners continued without 
interruption, and I was more and more con- 
vinced that they treated of an aflfair of a pri- 
vate nature, and that it was that affair alone 
which retarded the signature of peace. Napo- 
leon would not have had so much patience 


and would not have heaped so many kindnesses 
upon Prince John, and the Count of Bubna, if 
he liad been simply employed in the discussion 
of a cession of some political advantages. He 
had too much ground for complaint against Aus- 
tria not to declare at once and openly what he 
required, and the conditions he imposed. This 
armistice lasted more than three months, and 
he was not the man to lose his advantages in 
useless conferences. Without being able to 
justify my opinion otherwise than by vague 
observations, I am induced to believe that the 
alliance of which I have already spoken, was 
the sole object of the interviews, and that point 
once admitted, the manner and the way in 
which tlie divorce should take place were the 
subject of the latter negotiations. Peace was 
at length signed on the 14th of October, and 
Napoleon sent a courier the same day to ac- 
quaint M. de Champagni, at Altemburg, with 
the intelligence, and to recall him. I remember 
that that minister was invited to dinner by Na- 
poleon, the very day of his return to Schoen- 
brunn, and that the Emperor asked him, laugh- 
ing, " If he had not been surprised at the repose 
in which he had been left at Altemburg, and 
the signature of the peace." — " I confess. Sire," 
replied JNI. de Champagni, " tliat in my capa- 

N 2 


city of minister for foreign affairs to your Ma- 
jesty, I had very little notion of what was pass- 
ing here." Napoleon spoke with somewhat of 
a triumphant air, which was strongly contrasted 
with the embarrassment of his minister. 



Departure from Schcenbrunn. — Arrival of the Emperor at 
Fontainebleau. — Conversation with the Empress Jose- 
phine, who acquaints me with the fears she entertains. — 
The King of Saxony at Paris. — The Court quits Fontaine- 
bleau. — Announcement of the Divorce to the Empress 
Josephine. — Events which follow that communication. 

We set out for Munich before the ratifica- 
tion of the treaty of peace by Austria. In 
order that it might be communicated with the 
utmost prom])titude, military posts were esta- 
bhshed at short intervals along the road, and 
upon the most elevated points, directed to com- 
municate it to each other, if during the day, by 
white flags, and if during the night, by great 
fires. The news of the ratification arrived at 
Munich the third day of our stay there, and 
we left the next day for Fontainebleau. Napo- 
leon arranged every thing so well, that he ar- 
rived several hours before the Empress Jose- 
phine, who had quitted Strasbourg and re- 


turned to Paris more than a month before. 
This neglect of the Empress occasioned a tri- 
fling reproach from Napoleon. 

Three days after our arrival at Fontaine- 
bleau, I observed some clouds of sadness upon 
the brow of Josephine, and much less freedom 
in Napoleon's manner towards her. One morn- 
ing after breakfast, the Empress did me the ho- 
nour to converse with me in the recess of a 
window in her chamber ; and after some insig- 
nificant questions respecting our stay at Schoen- 
brunn, and the manner in which we passed our 
time, she said to me : " Monsieur de Bausset, 
I have a confidence in your attachment to me ; 
I hope you will reply with frankness to the 
question I am about to ask you." I assured 
her of my readiness to give her every informa- 
tion I could, and that I had so much the more 
ease in doing so, because no kind of cbmmu- 
nication had been made to me, which could 
bind me to silence. " Well, then, tell me, if 
you know, why the private communication be- 
tween my apartment and that of the Emperor 
has been shut up ?'' — " I was ignorant of it, 
Madam, until now ; all that I am acquainted 
with, is, that some repairs were commenced, 
and that they have been suspended in conse- 
quence of the Emperor returning much sooner 


than he was expected. Perhaps, also, they 
could not foresee tliat he would come to reside 
at Fontainebleau, at a season so advanced as 
this. Your Majesty may see, by a part of the 
furniture of his apartments, that things are 
not yet finished." Such was my answer, and in 
truth, I should have been much embarrassed to 
have made any other. This was not the occa- 
sion for me to speak of my private observations. 
I shall never forget the last words which that 
excellent princess did me the honour of ad- 
dressing to me. " ]M. de Bausset, believe me, 
there is some hidden mystery !" This conversa- 
tion only served to strengthen the ideas which 
I had formed during the negotiations at Schoen- 
brunn, although it was impossible for me to 
foresee the moment of this climax, and the man- 
ner in which it wovdd be brought about. I did 
not long remain without better information. 

The King of Saxony arrived at Paris on the 
13th of November, and their INIajesties quit- 
ted Fontainebleau, on the 14th. Napoleon per- 
formed the journey on horseback, and on arriv- 
ing visited the King of Saxony, who occupied 
the palace of I'Elysee. The presence of that 
virtuous monarch at Paris, broke vip sometimes 
the private conversation, but, in my view, the 
embarrassment of the countenance of Napo- 


leon augmented in proportion to tlie inquietude 
and vague prepossessions of the Empress Jose- 
phine. She appeared to have a presentiinent 
of some misfortune, and to summon all her 
strength to support its bitterness with courage. 

I was on duty at the Tuileries from Monday 
November 27 ; on that day, the Tuesday and 
Wednesday following, it was easy for me to 
observe a great alteration in the features of the 
Empress, and a silent constraint in Napoleon. 
If in the course of dinner he broke the silence, 
it was to ask me some brief questions, to which 
he did not hear the reply. On those days the 
dinner did not last for more than ten minutes. 
The storm burst on Thursday the 30th. 

Their Majesties went to table. Josephine 
wore a large white hat, tied under her chin, and 
which concealed a part of her face. I thought, 
however, that I perceived she had been weep- 
ing, and that she then restrained her tears 
with difficulty. She appeared to me the image 
of grief and of despair. The most profound si- 
lence reigned throughout the dinner ; and they 
only touched the dishes which were presented 
to them out of mere form. The only words 
uttered, were those addressed to me by Napo- 
leon. " What o'clock is it ?" In pronoimcing 
tliem, he rose from table. Josephine followed 


slowly. Coffee was served, and Napoleon took 
himself the cup which was held by the page on 
duty, and gave the sign tliat he wished to be 
alone. I immediately retired, but restless, and 
a prey to my sad thoughts, I sat down in the 
attendance-room, which was commonly used 
for their Majesties to dine in, in an arm-chair, 
on the side of which was the door to the Em- 
peror's room ; I was mechanically watching the 
servants who were clearing the table, when on 
a sudden, I heard violent cries from the Em- 
press Josephine issue from the Emperor's cham- 
ber. The usher of the chamber, thinking she 
was taken ill, was on the point of opening the 
door, when I prevented him, observing, that the 
Emperor would call for assistance if he thought 
it necessary. I was standing close to the door, 
when the Emperor liimself opened it, and per- 
ceiving me, said quickly ; " Come in, Bausset, 
and shut the door." I entered the chamber 
and saw the Empress Josephine stretched on the 
carpet, uttering piercing cries and complaints. 
"No, I will never survive it," said she. Napo- 
leon said to me ; " Are you sufficiently strong 
to raise Josephine, and to carry her to her apart- 
ments by the private staircase, in order that 
she may receive the care and assistance which 
she requires ?" I obeyed and raised the Prin- 


cess, who, I thouglit, was seized with a ner- 
vous affection. With the aid of Napoleon, I 
raised her into my arms, and he himself taking 
a light from the table, opened the door, which, 
by an obscure passage, led to the little staircase 
of which he had spoken. When we reach- 
ed the first step of the staircase, I observed to 
Napoleon, that it was too narrow for it to be 
possible for me to descend without the danger 
of falling. He forthwith called the keeper 
of the portfolio, who day and night was in 
attendance at one of the doors of his closet, 
the entrance to which was on the landing-place 
of this little staircase. Napoleon gave him the 
light, of w^hich we had little need, for the 
passages had become light. He commanded 
the keeper to go on before, and took himself 
the legs of Josephine in order to assist me in 
descending with less difficulty. At one mo- 
ment, however, I was embarrassed by my sword, 
and I thought we must have fallen, but for- 
tunately we descended without any accident, 
and deposited the precious burden on an otto- 
man in the sleeping-chamber. Napoleon im- 
mediately pulled the little bell, and summon- 
ed the Empress's women. When I raised the 
Empress in the chamber she ceased to moan, 
and I thought that she had fainted ; but at 


tlie time I was embarrassed by my sword in 
the middle of the little staircase, of which I 
have already spoken, I was obliged to hold her 
firmly to prevent a fall which would have been 
dreadful to the actors in this melancholy scene. 
I held the Empress in my arms, which en- 
circled her waist, her back rested against my 
chest, and her hand leaned upon my right 
shoulder. When she felt the efforts which I 
made to prevent falling, she said to me in a 
very low tone, " You press me too hard." I 
then saw that I had nothing to fear for her 
health, and that she had not for an instant lost 
her senses. During the whole of this scene 
I was wholly occupied with Josephine, whose 
situation afflicted me ; I had not power to ob- 
serve Napoleon ; but when the Empress's wo- 
men had come, he retired into a little room 
which preceded the sleeping- chamber, and I 
followed him. His agitation, his inquietude, 
were extreme. In the distress which he felt he 
made me acquainted with the cause of every 
thing that had happened, and said to me these 
words : " The interest of France and of my 
dynasty does violence to my heart — the di- 
vorce has become a rigorous duty to me — I am 
the more afflicted by what has happened to 
Josephine, because three days ago she must 


have learned it from Hortensia — the unhappy 
obligation which condemns me to separate my- 
self from her — I deplore it with all my heart, 
but I thought she possessed more strength 
of character, and I was not prepared for the 
bursts of her grief." In fact, the emotion 
which oppressed him, compelled him to make 
a long pause between each phrase he uttered, 
in order to breathe. His words came from 
him with labour and without connection ; his 
voice was tremulous and oppressed, and tears 
moistened his eyes. It really seemed as if he 
were beside himself to give so many details to 
me, who was so far removed from his councils 
and his confidence. The whole of this trans- 
action did not occupy more than seven or eight 
minutes. Napoleon immediately sent to seek 
for Corvisart, Queen Hortensia, Cambaceres, 
and Fouche ; and before he returned to his 
apartment, he assured himself of the condition 
of Josephine, whom he found more calm and 
more resigned. I followed him, and after hav- 
ing recovered my hat, which I had thrown on 
the carpet that my motions might be more 
free, I retired to the attendance-chamber. To 
avoid all kinds of commentaries, I said before 
the pages and the ushers that the Empress 
had been seized with a violent affection of the 


nerves. Thus, by accident, and by the natural 
course of the duties of my office, I became ini- 
tiated at the very outset in so important and 
serious a transaction. Although the Emperor 
in the moment of liis unbosoming himself to 
me, had not disclosed any thing with respect 
to the rank or the person he was about to 
marry, the future was developed to me, and 
I did not doubt, after the private observations 
which I had made during the negotiations at 
Schoenbrunn, that it was an Archduchess of 

I remained in the attendance-room, absorbed 
in the reflections which were excited by the 
scene I had witnessed, and the secret I had be- 
come acquainted with. I saw Queen Horten- 
sia, Cambacercs, Fouch^, and Corvisart, arrive. 
There was in these goings backwards and for- 
wards an agitation and a bustle, which would 
not have astonished me, if I had had the least 
inquietude with respect to the health of Jose- 
phine, but I associated them with the suffer- 
ings of her heart, and I felt how little rank, 
fortune, and grandeur, contribute to real hap- 
piness. I reviewed in my mind all the happy 
gifts and amiable qualities which ought to have 
preserved Josephine from such a repudiation. 
This divorce, however, was made on both parts 


with great constancy and courage: no wrong, 
no humiliating motive was had recourse to, to 
colour and excuse it ; and that which was most 
extraordinary in this event was, that it took place 
with a reciprocal affection and a rare dignity 
— it was a generous sacrifice, indeed, to great 
political interests, with which the noble children 
of Josephine concurred, both filled with love 
for their adorable mother, and gratitude for the 
benefits they had received from Napoleon. This 
divorce produced no division in the family; 
the Emperor continued always the most tender 
friend of Josephine, and preserved a tridy pa- 
ternal affection all his life for the viceroy and 
Queen Hortensia. Josephine, at that period, 
was forty-six years of age, and it was impos- 
sible for her to possess more graceful manners 
and appearance. The expression of her eyes 
was enchanting, her smile was full of charms, 
and the whole of her features and her voice 
were gentle in the extreme ; her figure was no- 
ble, flexible, and perfect ; the purest taste and 
the most consummate elegance presided at her 
toilet, and made her appear much younger than 
she really was. But all these brilliant advan- 
tages were nothing when compared with the 
goodness of her heart. Her wit was pleasing 
and gay ; it never wounded the feelings of any 


one, and never gave birth to that whicli was 
disagreeable ; her temper was always equable, 
and without peevishness. Devoted to Napo- 
leon, she communicated to him her sweetness 
and her good-nature without his perceiving it, 
and gave him, in a jesting manner, advice which 
more than once proved useful. At the risk of 
repeating myself, I will say, that always ready 
to oblige, she taught the way to Napoleon's in- 
dulgence and goodness ; and 1 know of no one 
who can say that she refused to render all the 
benefit and succour within her power. Thus 
blessings and prayers followed her in her dis- 
tress, and afterwards the great powers of Eu- 
rope hastened, by then' homage, to unite with 
the sentiments of the whole nation. She pos- 
sessed in a greater degree than any woman I 
have ever known, that taste for society which, 
in general, has so many charms for those who 
are so happy as to partake of it. Nature had 
endowed her with sentiments always just and 
good. Few women have possessed to the 
same extent that delicate feeling which in- 
duces them to forget themselves, and to think 
only of the object which is dear to tliem : that 
patience, that true courage, tliat tranquillity 
in excess of misfortune, tliat noble benevo- 
lence wliich shrinks from all ostentation, those 


delicate and ingenious methods and manners 
of conferring a benefit ; that constancy, I will 
venture to say, in the will to oblige ; in short, 
that sensibility which made her ambitious of 
no other reward than the return of sentiments 
which she merited to obtain. 

The moment of weakness which seized her, 
when she heard her fate from the mouth of 
Napoleon, was the only one which she exhi- 
bited. She made it her glory to conquer her- 
self, and to devote herself to the new duties 
which were traced out for her without apparent 
effort. I do not mean to say by that, that she 
returned to private life, since she preserved in 
her palace of Malmaison, the rank, the magni- 
ficence, and the grandeur of an Empress-dow- 
ager. I even believe she was more happy, less 
dependant, and more herself than at the Tui- 
leries, where her life was often mingled with 
constraint in the infinity of little trifles, and 
of court details, from which she was liberated 
by this new species of emancipation. Having 
no other desire than to conform to the taste and 
habits of Napoleon, she was often obliged to re- 
ceive, and to show kindnesses to persons, who 
were not to her taste : she was almost always 
compelled, too, to repair to table, and to wait 
for the Emperor, who deeply engaged in his 


cabinet, forgot the hour. The dinner was re- 
gularly served at six o'clock : it happened one 
day, or rather one evening, that Napoleon for- 
got the announcement which had been made 
to him until eleven o'clock, and on leaving his 
closet he said to Josephine : " I think it is ra- 
ther late ?" — " Past eleven o'clock !" replied 
she, laughing. " I thought I had dined," said 
Napoleon, setting down to table. This self- 
denial was a virtue which Josephine had to ex- 
ercise on more than one occasion. Napoleon 
was perfectly right when he said : " I win no- 
thing but battles, and Josephine, by her good- 
ness, wins all hearts." 

In giving these details of private life, I have 
borne in mind the passage of Saint Simon, in 
which he says, when speaking of the mode of life 
of Philip V. of Spain, and the Queen his wife, 
that '"• nothing produces so much influence upon 
the great and the little as this mccanique of 
sovereigns ; that this knowledge is one of the 
best keys to all other, and that it is always 
wanting in histories, and often in memoirs, of 
which the most interesting and the most in- 
structive would have been better, if their au- 
thors had less neglected that part," &c. &:c. 1 
shall not be blamed, tlien, for saying that the 
evening when Napoleon came to table to dine 

VOL. II. o 


after eleven o'clock, the dinner remained on the 
table during the five hours of delay, and the 
only precaution which was taken was to fill the 
dishes with boiling water every quarter of an 
hour. It was necessary to adopt that plan, be- 
cause Napoleon might have left his closet at 
an instant, and there would not have been time 
to serve the table. Thanks to the importance 
of the habits of sovereigns, I may finish this 
note by observing that there were twenty-three 
chickens, which were successively put on the 
spit, and placed on the table ; and that was 
the only change that was made in the dinner. 



Respecting the Empress Josephine — Te Deum at Notre- 
Dame for the Peace. — Ball given by the city of Paris. — 
The Empress appears there in public for the last time. — 
The alliance with Austria is fixed. — Spiritual divorce be- 
tween Napoleon and Josephine. — Count Otto the Ambas" 
sador from Vienna. — General Ordenner, Governor of the 
palace of Compiegne. 

From the moment her new destiny was 
revealed to her, the Empress, affected, but 
suffering Uttle, kept her apartment and never 
appeared at court. She had the goodness to 
thank me for. the attentions I had rendered 
her; but she remained convinced durino- the 
rest of her hfe that I was previously initiated 
into the secret of Napoleon : she deceived her- 
self ; it was chance alone that disclosed it. 
As to the rest. Napoleon congratulated him- 
self on my presence, for Fouche assured me the 
next evening, that he had said to him, tliat if 
either of my two colleagues had been on duty, 

o 2 


they would not have had strengtli to sustain 
Josephine as I had done, which would have 
ohlio-ed him to call for farther assistance, have 
given the occurrence too much publicity, and 
have increased the embarrassment of a scene 
sufficiently melancholy. 

A Te Deum was chaunted for the peace 
of Vienna, the consequences of which were so 
afflicting to the heart of Josephine; and she 
was obliged to be present in a gallery with all 
the princesses of the family. Napoleon him- 
self went alone with great ceremony. The Em- 
press was again obliged to attend a fete which 
was given by the city of Paris, and that was the 
last time she appeared in public. 

The Kings of Wurtemberg, Bavaria, Naples, 
and Westphalia, and the Viceroy, arrived at 
Paris. As for myself, I set out on the 8th of 
December to fill the honourable and flattering 
mission of President of the Electoral College 
of the department of Herault, so distinguished 
by the vivacity of its spirit, the nobleness of 
its character, and the politeness of its manners. 
This happy circumstance caused my absence 
from Paris. I set out before the official com- 
munications took place, which were made to 
the Senate on the l6th of December. All 


the circumstances of the divorce are known, 
and I have learned notliing private respecting 
those important events. Napoleon was to oc- 
cupy the palace of Trianon, and Josephine re- 
tired to IMalmaison. He returned to Paris 
on tlie 26'th, and some days after held a cabi- 
net council, in which it was deliberated what 
would be the most advantageous alliance for 
France. It had the appearance of discussing 
a thing, which, in my mind, had been decided 
at Schcenbrunn. The majority of the council 
were for an alliance with j:\ustria. Those who 
were in the secret of Napoleon's choice, voted, 
as might be expected, for that alliance ; but 
those w^ho honestly discussed the question, pre- 
sented objections, which would, perhaps, have 
prevailed, if the choice had not already been 

The civil dissolution of the marriage having^ 
taken place. Napoleon and Josepliine presented 
a request to the Officiality of Paris for that 
of the spiritual ties. This sentence was pro- 
nounced, and confirmed afterwards by the JNIe- 
tropoHtan Officiality. Thus, on the 12th of 
January, 1810, all was finished. 

On the 2nd of February, Napoleon liad pre- 
sented to the Senate, and adopted as tlie law of 


the state, all that was necessary with respect to 
the domain of the crov/n, to the dowry of the 
Empress, and to the appanages of the princes 
of the family. In that he imitated those pri- 
vate individuals who make a new arrange- 
ment of their affairs before marriage. Three 
days afterwards he formed the household of 
the Empress, and appointed for her lady of 
honour the beautiful widow of his companion 
in arms, Marshal Lannes, Duke of Montebello, 
and proved by the choice, which met with ge- 
neral approbation, that he was not forgetful of 
the brilliant services which had been rendered 
him. He gave the government of the Palace 
of Compi^gne to General Ordenner, as a retire- 
ment ; appointed Prince Aldobrandini Borg- 
hese to the situation of first master of the horse 
to the Empress ; and the Senator Count of 
Beauharnais, to that of first gentleman usher, 
was conciliating all interests and keeping all 
parties in remembrance. 

The Duchesses of Bassano and Rovigo, and 
the Countesses of Montmorency, Mortemart, 
Talhouet, Lauriston, Duchatel, Bouille, Mon- 
talivet, Peron, Lascaris, Vintimille, Brignole, 
Gentili, and Canisy, were appointed ladies of 
the palace; and afterwards the Countess of 
Beauveau, the Duchess of Dalberg, and the 


Countess Edmond de Perigord, by birth Prin- 
cess of Courland, were added to this list, al- 
ready so remarkable. 

The preliminary, domestic, and suitable ar- 
rangements were hardly concluded, when Na- 
poleon despatched his aid-de-camp, the Count 
of Lauriston, for Vienna, and some days after 
the Prince of Neufchatel, t»o demand formally 
the hand of the Archduchess, Maria Louisa. 
The Senate received by a message the commu- 
nication of the project of marriage. 



Prince Eugene is named successor to the Grand Duchy of 
Frankfort. — A splendfd court sent to the frontiers of 
Austria to receive the Empress Maria Louisa. — The 
German courts. — The King of Bavaria and two grena- 
diers in the streets of Munich. — Braunau. — Note contain- 
ing a complete list of the persons forming the train of the 
Austrian court, charged \vith conducting INIaria Louisa to 
the French court. — Arrangements for the ceremonial of 
the reception of her Majesty the Empress dictated by 

My intention is not to repeat all that has 
been said in the journals of Paris and Vienna, 
relating to the ceremonies, festivals, and rejoic- 
ings with which Napoleon's marriage with Ma- 
ria Louisa was celebrated ; I shall confine my- 
self to the notice of those particulars, which 
have perhaps passed without observation. 

The first, is the nomination of Prince 
Eugene as successor to the Grand Duchy of 
Frankfort. This nomination took place at 
Paris on the 3d of March, the same day that 
the Prince of Neufchatel arrived at Vienna ; a 


singular coincidence, which must be regarded 
as a kind of secret homage paid to tlie F^mpress 
Josephine. It was perhaps unwise on the part 
of Napoleon, because by it he made known his 
secret intention of adding, at some future pe- 
riod, the kingdom of Italy to his empire. 

I was included in the suite of the attendants 
sent at the commencement of the month of 
March, to attend at the reception of the august 
bride. Count Philip Segur and I set out the 
first to establish the Imperial household at that 
place. The eagerness of all the Princes of 
the Confederation and of the Sovereigns, whose 
states we passed through, to learn from us all 
we knew concerning the arrangements whicli 
were to be made, was extreme. I have before 
me, and I am going to copy the order which 
was given us at the port of Munich. 

" The Commandant-general of IMimich, has 
the honour to inform ]M.M. de Posset (Bausset) 
and de Segur, coming from Paris, that his JNIa- 
jesty the King of Bavaria wishes to see them 
at his Palace the instant they arrive, whether 
by night or day, or at whatever hour, for the 
purpose of conversing with the above-men- 
tioned gentlemen." 

(Signed) Baron D' 

" Munich, March 6th, 1810." Major-Gcncral." 


The King inquired the time when the Queen 
of Naples would pass, and the service of honour 
which was sent to attend at the reception. 
We answered satisfactorily all the questions of 
this excellent King, who had the kindness to 
inform us himself which was the best inn in 
his capital. He would willingly have accom- 
modated the whole train in his palace, but the 
Emperor's orders were positive. We travelled 
at the crown's expense, and it was our duty to 
incommode no one. I learnt, that after our 
departure, this monarch, so beloved by his 
own subjects and all the world, walked to the 
hotel, of which, according to his advice we had 
made choice, in order to satisfy himself that 
the best possible arrangements were made; 
that he returned again the night the whole 
company arrived ; and, that finding the Queen, 
with the ladies of the palace, and the other tra- 
vellers at table, he condescended, without the 
least ceremony, and with the greatest affability, 
to be present at the supper. 

The King of Bavaria was the best of men. 
No one possessed a more easy and natural taste. 
He excused every one, he pardoned every one, 
and he pleased every one by his gentleness, 
his urbanity, his exquisite politeness, and by 
the strict honour with which he kept his word. 


This happy disposition was not perverted by 
the splendour and illusions of supreme power. 
He always preserved that rare simplicity of 
manners, and that pleasing affability, which ren- 
dered him so dear to his subjects, his family, 
and all those who had the happiness to ap- 
proach him. 

In 1805, we were at IMunich, in the midst 
of fetes occasioned by the marriage of Prince 
Eugene. The King, dressed according to cus- 
tom, in a simple great-coat, walked with two 
of his aid-de-camps in the streets of Munich. 
He perceived two grenadiers of the impe- 
rial guard, each with a lady leaning on his 
arm ; he gently approached one of them, and 
said to him in a low tone of voice : " My 
friend, be on your guard, both your health and 
your companion's is in danger." The gi-ena- 
dier, who had recognized the King, from his 
having frequently accompanied the Emperor, 
answered in the same tone, " If that misfortune 
should happen to us. Sire, we shall go and g^t 
cured in your hospitals." — " No, not in my 
hospitals," said this good Prince, " but in the 
infirmary of my palace." — " We shall not fail 
to do so, Sire." The King's prediction was 
verified ; the two grenadiers presented them- 
selves at the infirmary of the palace, and by his 


MaiesU's order they were taken care of. cured, 
and treated with the oTeatest kindness. 

The little town of Braunau, on the frontier 
of Austria and of Bavaria, offered but few ac- 
commodations for so splendid an occasion, 
and for the union of two such numerous 

There was no house fit to be a temporary 
palace, and we were obliged to hire several 
joining each other, and to have the walls 
broken through in order to build doors from 
storv to storv. and bv this means enlarge the 
apartments and facilitate communication. In 
two davs everv thincj was readv. The casket, 
and the marriage presents, the magnificence of 
Avhich was admirable, were an-anoed and dis- 
played in one of the Empress's largest apart- 
ments. All that the most refined luxury, 
good taste, and great wealth could prociu-e that 
was elegant and expensiA*e. was exhibited in 
proper order. All the dresses, linen. 6y:c., had 
been made at Paris after the patterns belonging 
to her Majesty ; but what struck us the most 
in the midst of so manv fine thinos. was the 
smallness of the foot, iudoino- bv the shoes 
which we brought, and wliich had been made 
from the pattern of some sent from ^'ienna. 


At a leajjue from Braunau, at the extreme 
limit of the two frontiers, declared neuter for 
the occasion, was a house built of wood, di- 
vided into three apartments : one on the side 
of Austria, another on that of France, and 
one in the middle, larger than the two others. 
This last apartment was declared neuter, and 
was to serv'e for the ceremony of delivering up 
the betrothed Princess. On the side of France 
the entry into the neutral apartment was by a 
folding door, placed in the middle of the pan- 
nel. On the side of Austria a mafniificent 
canopy had been raised, under which was an 
arm-chair covered with cloth of gold. This 
throne faced the French door of entrance: 
two side-doors were placed on the same side. 
On the right of the throne was a round table, 
covered with a rich cloth, and on this the act 
of delivering up the Princess was to be formally 
signed. An immense space had been left for 
the occupation of carriages of the two suites ; 
fine avenues of green trees had been planted, 
and extended to the high road, both on the 
side of Austria and on that of France. 

On the morning of the l6th of ]March, we 
heard of the arrival of the Austrian retinue 
at Altheim, a little town situated at about a 
league from the house. Tlie Empress had 


stopped there to change her travelling dress 
for a more suitable toilette. The Queen of 
Naples, with her train, repaired to the French 
apartment. This train consisted of the Du- 
chess of Montebello, maid of honour, the Coun- 
tess of Lucay, tire-woman, the Duchess of 
Bassano, the Countesses Montmorency, INIorte- 
mart, and Bouille ; of the Bishop of Metz 
(.Taiiffret), almoner, the Count of Beauharnais, 
first gentleman usher, Prince Aldobrandini 
Borghese, first groom, Counts Aubusson, Beam 
Angosse, and Barrol, chamberlains. Count Phi- 
lip Segur, superintendant of the palace, Barons 
Saluces and Audenardes, grooms, Count Seys- 
sel, master of the ceremonies, and of myself, 
prefect of the palace. 

An eagerness easy enough to be explained, 
made me desirous of seeing the Empress as 
soon as she should arrive and enter the middle 
apartment, to take her seat on the throne, and 
give her court time to arrange itself around 
her, before our introduction. I had brought 
with me a gimblet, with which I had made 
several holes in the door of our apartment. 
This folly, which was not mentioned in the pro- 
cess verbal, afforded us the pleasure of contem- 
plating at our ease the features of our young 
and new sovereign. I need not remark that 


the ladies of our company were the most eager 
to make use of the openings which I had pro- 

Maria Louisa entered, preceded by the mas- 
ter of the ceremonies of Austria, placed her- 
self on the throne, and all the persons forming 
her court arranged themselves on the right and 
left, according to their rank. The last line 
was formed by the handsomest officers of the 
noble Hungarian guard, whose uniform is so 
rich and beautiful. All these arrangements 
being made, Baron I.orh, Austrian master of 
the ceremonies, came and knocked at the door 
of our apartment. Count Seyssel entered the 
first, preceding the French retinue, at the head 
of which was the Prince of Neufchatel, com- 
missioner plenipotentiary for delivering up the 
Princess, and Count Alexandre De Laborde, 
secretary to the embassy of reception. 

The Empress was standing upright before 
her throne ; her tall figure was perfectly symme- 
trical, her hair was fair and beautiful, her mild 
blue eyes bespoke the candour and innocence 
of her soul, and her countenance beamed with 
freshness and goodness. She wore a dress of 
gold brocade, worked with large flowers in their 
natural colours, the weight of which must have 
fatigued her very much. Round her neck she 


wore the portrait of Napoleon, enriched with 
sixteen magnificent diamonds, which together 
cost five Imndred thousand francs. 

I here transcribe the ceremonial which Na- 
poleon himself had dictated. It was followed 

Arrangements for the Ceremonial of the 
Reception of her Majesty, the Empress, at 

The building for this purpose having been 
prepared according to orders, her Majesty, the 
Empress, will arrive there at noon precisely. 

The maid of honour, the ladies, and the 
whole train of her INIajesty, will leave Braunau, 
in such time as to arrive at half-past eleven. 

The Commissioner of the Emperor and 
Kino\ the Prince of Neufchatel, will arrive 
there at the same time. 

Her INIajesty, the Queen of Naples, will be 
invited to repair to the place of meeting at half- 
past eleven. 

All that belongs to the French train, will 
enter by the French avenue, and occupy the 
place pointed out by the master of the cere- 

The Empress's groom will privately receive 
his orders. 


General Friant will give orders to place sen- 
tinels outside and around the barriers which 
surround the buildino: : there is to be no one in 
the Austrian party but those who belong to the 
Austrian service, nor in the French party, but 
those who appertain to the French ser\dce ; 
strangers are excluded. 

A superior officer will be charged with the 
enforcement of this arrangement, and there 
will be patroles in different parts for this pur- 

M. Segur will consult privately with General 
Friant, so as to have some one to direct the 
entry of the Austrian escort by the Austrian 

The Empress, on her arrival at the building, 
w^ill alight at the door of the Austrian apart- 

After her Majesty shall have reposed, she 
will repair to the apartment destined for the 
ceremony of the reception, followed by her 
Austrian retinue, and seat herself in an arm- 
chair, surrounded by her ladies, tlie officers of 
lier household, and having on her left the Aus- 
trian commissioner charged with giving away 
the Empress. 

The master of the ceremonies of the coiu't of 
Vienna, or the officer charged witli tlic fulfil- 

VOE. II, p 


ment of those functions, will fetch the French 
commissioner, and the officers and ladies ap- 
pointed for the service of the Empress, who 
will be assembled in the apartment entitled 
French, and will place themselves on the 
French side. 

The Queen of Naples will remain in the 
French apartment with the French train. She 
will be seated in an arm-chair, and surround- 
ed by her household. She will remain in this 
apartment during the ceremony. 

The French commissioner and train will en- 
ter the neutral apartment occupied by the Em- 
press, by the French door. 

The train will stop after having entered the 

The French commissioner alone, accompa- 
nied by the French and Austrian master of the 
ceremonies, will advance towards the Empress, 
and after having made three salutes, he will 
address a compliment to her Majesty, in which 
he will explain the object of his mission. 

After the answer of her Majesty, the Aus- 
trian master of the ceremonies will point out 
to the French commissioner the Austrian com- 
missioner : the two commissioners will salute 
and compliment each other : the first compli- 


ment will be paid by the Austrian commis- 

The verification of the commissions w ill then 
take place; the Austrian counsellor of state 
performing the office of secretary, will read 
aloud the commission of the Austrian Empe- 
ror; and the French counsellor of state, per- 
forming the office of secretary, will read the 
orders with which the Emperor of the French 
has honoured his commissioner. 

After the powers have been verified and ac- 
cepted by each party, the act of the delivering 
up and the reception will be read, which will 
have been prepared beforehand, and translated 
from the German into the French lantruaire. 

The reading of this act shall be performed 
equally by the state counsellors, each acting the 
part of a secretary, both Austrian and French. 

The act will be signed in duplicate, by the 
Austrian and French commissioners ; the Aus- 
trian commissioner will sign first, and each 
commissioner will take a copy of it. The co- 
pies will be countersigned by the French and 
Austrian state counsellors, performing the office 
of secretaries. 

After this ceremony, the French commis- 

F ^ 


sioner will retire to that part of the room occu- 
pied by the French train: the Empress will rise. 

The Austrian commissioner will present his 
hand to the Empress to conduct her to the 
French side. The French commissioner will 
advance to meet her Majesty, and likewise 
offer his hand ; he will conduct her towards 
the French train. 

The French commissioner will present to her 
Majesty the maid of honour, and the persons 
appointed for her retinue, who will begin to 
perform the duties of their office about her 

As soon as this ceremony shall be finished, 
the Queen of Naples shall go to the French 
door to meet the Empress. The Empress will 
embrace her ; the Queen of Naples will take 
her by the hand, and conduct her to one of the 
Emperor's carriages. If there should be pre- 
sent at this ceremony a prince of Austrian 
blood, the Prince of Neufchatel shall invite him 
to take a seat in the coach of the Empress. 

From this moment, the conduct of the Em- 
press, and of her retinue, belongs to the French 
commissioner, under the Empress's orders. 

Immediately after the ceremony, the Em- 
press will get into her carriage, and repair to 
Braunau, to the house which will have been 


arranged for her reception, and in which will 
lodge as many of the persons forming the 
French retinue as can be accommodated. 

The first groom of the Empress will give 
orders so tliat her Majesty may arrive at her 
abode in the order prescribed. 

The persons who composed her Austrian 
train will be invited to come to Braunau, and 
will there occupy the lodgings which will have 
been prepared for them. 

Messrs. Bausset and Segur will each give 
orders, as to what concerns them, as also for 
the Archduke Antony. 

At eleven o'clock, the division of General 
Friant, and that of General Pajol, will be drawn 
up in line out of the town, from the moment of 
the ceremony — that is to say, at eleven o'clock, 
until after the entry of her Majesty into the 


The military honours to be paid her Majesty 
are those prescribed by the imperial decree of 
the 24th of the month of IMessidor, in the 
year 12. 

At the moment of the Empress's arrival at 
Braunau, Count General Friant, commander 
of the troops on tliat part of the frontier of 


the Confederation, will go forward to meet 
her INIajesty with his staff officers, and all 
the cavalry there assembled, as far as half a 
league from the place, and escort her to her 

The officers and the flags will salute. 

General Friant will salute the commander of 
the Austrian escort. 

The trumpets will sound the march. 

Half of the infantry will be ranged in line, 
to the right and left of the door by which 
her Majesty is to enter, and the other half in 
the places through which her Majesty is to 

The under officers and soldiers will present 

The officers and flags will salute ; the drums 
will beat. 

The general officers will put themselves at 
the head of their troops. 

The commander and the other staff" officers of 
the place will repair to the first barrier. 

When her Majesty, with all her retinue, has 
passed the bridges, all the artillery in the place 
shall discharge three vollies. 

A guard will be provided for her Majesty, 
composed of a battalion with her flag, and com- 
manded by the Colonel. 


A squadron of cavalry commanded by a co- 
lonel, will also be established in the house of 
her Majesty. This squadron will furnish two 
sentinels on horseback, armed with sabres, to 
be stationed before her JMajesty's door. 

The commanders of the above-named guard 
will receive orders and the pass-word from the 

When her JNIajesty leaves the town of Brau- 
nau, the infantry will be arranged in the man- 
ner prescribed by article the first. 

The cavalry will attend her as far as half a 
league from the barrier. 

As soon as her Majesty has left the place 
with all the equipages of her suite, she will be 
saluted by three volleys from the whole of the 

The same honours will be paid her JNIajesty 
on her passage through all the places occupied 
by French garrisons in Germany. 

There will be placed beforehand detachments 
of cavalry at regular distances on the road to 
be travelled by her Majesty from Braunau to 
Strasburg, according to the arrangements of 
the ministers of war, to serve as an escort to her 

The three regiments of light-horse brigade 
of General Pajol, which are stationed in the 


environs of Braunau, the third division of heavy 
cavalry, which are to assemble together in the 
environs of Augsburgh, will furnish detach- 
ments in Germany for the escort of her Ma- 

Each detachment will be commanded by an 
officer, and accompanied by a trumpeter. 

General Friant will give orders for the 
French divisions to give a fete to the town of 
Braunau ; as there is no accommodation, her 
Majesty will not be present. 

It will be so managed, that the clocks of 
the town shall ring a peal when her Majesty 

General Friant will receive orders from the 
Prince of Neufchatel with regard to the time 
when he is to present the officers. 

The I6th, the day of the Empress's arrival, 
there will be a banquet for all the under offi- 
cers and soldiers of the division. 

If the Empress is not too much fatigued, she 
will ride in her carriage through the places 
where the tables are placed. Generals Friant 
and Pajol shall each assemble at dinner the offi- 
cers of his own division, and invite them in 
the Empress's name to these banquets. Three 
liealths shall be given: that of the Pmipress, the 
Emperor, and the Emperor of Austria. At 


each of these healths there shall be fired a salute 
of thirty guns. 

Her Majesty having arrived at Braunau, and 
reposed, the Prince of Neufchatel will receive 
orders to administer the oath of fealty to the 
Duchess of Montebello, maid of honour. This 
latter will administer the oath to the lady in 
waiting, the first groom, the gentleman usher, 
and the four ladies of the palace. For this 
purpose, the maid of honour will give orders 
for a table, covered with a cloth, to be placed 
in the Empress's apartment, together with an 
arm-chair for her Majesty, similar to that at 
Paris. The ushers understand these arrange- 

The articles of dress brought to Braunau for 
the use of her INIajesty during the journey will 
be presented to her by the waiting-woman. 
The ladies maids, and other persons sent for 
her service, will be named to her Majesty by 
' the maid of honour. Her Majesty will have 
her hair dressed, and be attired in tlie French 
fashion, and continue to dress in the same style 
during the whole journey. 



The maid of honour, the gentleman usher, 
and the first groom, will have the direction of 
the service and of the journey, each following 
the instructions and enjoying the privileges of 
their place. 

The Prince of Neufchatel will have super- 
intendence as the Commissioner of the Em- 

The Emperor's aid-de-camp. Count General 
Lauriston, will perform the office of Captain of 
the guard : he will be charged with the escorts 
of her Majesty's guard wherever she stops. 

A groom will be particularly charged with 
the arrangements for the horses and carriages 
on the journey. 

There will always be a groom on horseback 
at the door on the right of her Majesty's car- 
riage, and a page behind. 

The ofiicer commanding the escort will re- 
main at the door on the left side of her car- 

As soon as the reception of her Majesty is 
finished, the French household will enter upon 
her service. 



Instructionsgiven to the gentleman-usher, Count Beauharnais. 
— The Austrian Court takes leave. — Entry into Braunau. 
— Departure for INIunich. — Baron Saint- Aignan at Mu- 
nich. — Count Beauveau at Stuttgard. — Count Bondi at 
Carlsruhe. — Maria Louisa's entry into France ; the Em- 
press's first audience; Nancy, Vitri, Silleri, Courcelles. — 
Napoleon arrives at the last-mentioned place. — First inter- 
view between Napoleon and Maria Louisa. — He conducts 
the Empress to Compiegne. — The ceremonial of the inter- 
view becomes useless. — Marriage fetes. — Presents from 
the town of Paris. — Health given at a banquet by Prince 
Ferdinand at the castle of Valen9ay. 

A PARTICULAR oi'der was given to the gen- 
tleman-usher, Count Beauharnais, by which he 
was desired not to use the prerogatives of 
liis office, and forbidden to offer liis hand to 
the Empress when she went up or came down 
stairs. Napoleon was anxious to demonstrate 
his gallantry and his respect to his young wife. 
This precaution, inspired by a sentiment of de- 
licacy, was rather useless, as we shall sliortly see. 


All the formalities gone through. Prince 
TrauttmansdorfF asked her Majesty's permis- 
sion to kiss her hand when taking leave of her. 
This favour was granted him ; and while the 
commissioners counted out the dowry (500,000 
francs, all in new golden ducats), received the 
jewels and the diamonds, &c., we were much 
affected by the sight of the whole Austrian 
train, who moved on according to their rank, 
approached the throne, leant forward, and 
kissed the hand of the beloved Princess, from 
whom they were about to separate ; all her 
servants, even those of the most inferior rank, 
were permitted to lay at her feet the tribute of 
their respect, their regret for her departure, 
and their prayers for her happiness. The eyes 
of her Majesty were filled with tears, and this 
sensibility so touching gained every heart. 

On the Empress's arrival at Braunau, she laid 
aside all her foreign garments, and was dressed 
completely in the French style from head to 
foot, in conformity with the agreement. She 
afterwards received the oath of her ladies, of 
her gentleman-usher, and of her head groom. 
She dined with the Queen of Naples and Ma- 
dame Lazanski. The Austrian court, which 
had been invited to spend the rest of this me- 
morable day at Braunau, in order to enjoy for 


a longer period the happiness of seeing her 
Majesty, dined with the French court. The 
Prince of Neufchatel and the Duchess of Mon- 
tebello did the lionours of the table. 

After dinner the Empress came into our 
apartment, and there received the last adieus 
of her father's court. 

I set out the same evening, and preceded her 
Majesty, who was to leave for Munich early 
the next morning. At Haag she found the 
Prince Royal, now the King of Bavaria, and at 
Altuting, a breakfast, served by the King's 
household. In the evening she reached Mu- 
nich, where the Baron St. Aignan, the Empe- 
ror's groom, brought her a letter from Napo- 
leon. Every night, on arriving at the place 
where she was to pass the night, she found a 
messenger who gave her a letter from the Em- 
peror. At Stuttgard, it was Count Beauveau ; 
at Carlsruhe, Count Bondi, &c. &c. The letter 
Baron St. Aignan delivered at Munich tinged 
with grief the brilliant fetes her presence occa- 
sioned. It desired her to separate from the 
Countess Lazanski, whom she tenderly loved, 
and who had been her last governess. The 
etiquettes of a court allow of no considerations, 
and count as nothing all the affections and sen- 
timents of the heart. It has so frequently hap- 


pened that princesses, who were allowed to 
take with them foreigners into a new country, 
have been so much influenced, either from the 
habits of their childhood, or from easiness of 
disposition, that it is now pretty generally esta- 
blished, that when a princess marries a sove- 
reign prince, she ought to be yielded up to him 
free and unincumbered; she is henceforward to 
forget all that is past, and to commence a new 

On her entry into the French territories, the 
Empress v/as hailed by the whole nation as the 
Aurora of the brightest destinies, the dawn of 
a new golden age. At Strasburg she was met 
by the Emperor's first page, who brought her a 
letter, the most choice flowers, and pheasants of 
his own shooting. She rested there three days, 
and for the first time had occasion to speak 
to the local authorities presented to her. She 
charmed every one with the grace and mildness 
of her behaviour ; the clergy in particular were 
much pleased by the last words she addressed 
to them. After thanking them for the atten- 
tions and addresses of congratulation which 
they offered her, she added, — " I recommend 
myself to your prayers.'' At Nancy, and at 
Vitri. the Empress received the most affection- 
ate letters, the attentions and homage of her 


new subjects After having passed 

through Chalons, breakfasted at Silleri, at the 
house of Count Valence, and passed through 
Rheims, we were at the last stage which was to 
take us to Soissons, where we were to pass the 
night, and make all those arrangements con- 
tained in written and very circumstantial regu- 
lations, concerning the interview which was to 
take place the following day. But the impa- 
tience of Napoleon, who was as much in 
love as a young man of fifteen, deranged the 
whole programme, and we were driven with- 
out stopping through Soissons to Compiegne. 
I had the honour to be in the same carriage 
with the Countesses Montmorency, jNIortemar, 
and the Bishop of Metz. It seemed to me that 
those hidies were not at all better pleased than 
myself, at missing an excellent dinner whicli 
was prepared for us at Soissons. We reached 
Compiegne at midnight. 

Napoleon beholding himself so near the ob- 
ject of his wishes, secretly quitted the Palace of 
Compiegne ; enveloped in his grey riding-coat, 
and accompanied only by the King of Naples, 
he left the park by a little door, got into a ca- 
lash Avithout any coat-of-arms, and driven by 
men out of livery. By this secret departure 
Napoleon, in my opinion, desired not merely 


to satisfy more quickly the new sentiments 
which filled his heart, but also to render more 
simple the ceremonial of the morrow's intend- 
ed interview. The instruction said : 

" When their Majesties shall meet in the 
middle tent (which they are to enter at the 
same time, at the two opposite sides) the Em- 
press shall kneel ; the Emperor siiall raise and 
embrace her, and then their Majesties shall seat 

Whatever deference and respect a husband 
may exact from his wife, it would have gone 
hard with the daughter of the CtEsars to fulfil 
this article of the ceremonial. The sudden 
mode of interview adopted by Napoleon, ren- 
dered this disagreeable part of the meeting un- 

Napoleon, hastening to meet his young wife, 
passed Soissons and arrived at Courcelles just 
as the couriers of the Empress were putting 
fresh horses to her carriage. He alighted, had 
his calash put up, and sheltered himself from 
the rain which was falling, under the porch of 
a church situated outside of the village. He 
was standing apart with the King of Naples 
when the Empress's coach arrived ; and while 
they were changing the horses, he rushed to 
the door and opened it himself: the groom 


who recognised liiiii, and was not in the secret 
of his conceahiient, quickly let down the steps, 
and announced the Emperor. He threw his 
arms round the neck of the Empress, who was 
quite unprepared for this sudden and gallant 
interview, and immediately gave orders that 
they should drive with all speed to Compi^gne, 
where they arrived at ten at night. 

The programme of the interview which 
was to have taken place next day was never 
executed. It was there settled, that when the 
Emperor left the Empress at night he should 
sleep at the Hotel cle la Chancellerie , If we 
may judge by Napoleon's impatience, and by 
the breakfast which he caused to be served at 
noon by the P^mpress's bed-side, we think it 
probable that he did not sleep at the Hotel de 
la Chancellerie. The same regulation order- 
ed that, after the civil marriage, which was to 
take place at Saint Cloud, Napoleon should 
pass the night at the Italian pavilion ; I sus- 
pect that this article was not more strictly 
followed. However, I may be mistaken. 

The account of all the feites which accom- 
panied this brilliant wedding has been pub- 

The presents which the town of Paris offered 
their Majesties on this grand event, were very 



magnificent. A complete toilette in silver-gilt, 
comprising an arm-chair ci la Psyche, was even 
more valuable from the elegance of its shape, the 
great superiority of the chasing, and the admira- 
ble taste exercised in the choice of ornaments, 
than from the matter composing it. The most 
accomplished artists had not disdained to fur- 
nish designs and to assist in their execution. 
In 1814, these valuable articles were regarded as 
the private property of the Empress, and have 
been faithfully restored to her by the order of 
Louis XVIII. The present made to Napo- 
leon consisted of a magnificent gilt table-ser- 
vice ; it is the same which was made use of at 
the grand banquets, and which was placed in 
the royal treasury in 1814, as forming a part 
of the property of the crown, which Napoleon, 
according to his arrangements, had engaged to 

Art and talent exhausted themselves in ce- 
lebrating this august marriage. The whole 
of France sent forth songs of joy and happi- 
ness ; poetry poured forth cantatas, odes, stan- 
zas, dithyrambics, couplets, and allegories of 
all kinds. Even the castle of Valen9ay join- 
ed in this universal concert of homage and 
respect. Their Majesties' health was drank in 


the following terms at a banquet given by 
Prince Ferdinand, now King of Spain, and pro- 
posed by the Prince himself: — " To the health 
of our august sovereigns, the Great Napoleon, 
and Maria Louisa his august consort !" 

Q. 2 



Visit of their Majesties to Belgium. — Triumphal arch in a 
village. — Return to St. Cloud. — Duke of Rovigo. — Fouche. 
— Ball of Prince Schwartzenberg. — Abdication of Louis, 
King of Holland. — Junot's presence of mind. — Decennial 
prizes. — History of Fenelon. — The addition of Holland 
to the Empire. — Madame de Montesqiou — M. Dubois. — 
Canova. — Communication to the Senate. 

Their Majesties set out on the 27th of April, 
to visit some of the northern departments, in 
order to afford Paris, and all the great bodies of 
the state, the necessary time for preparing the 
fetes which the occasion required. 

It was a triumphal march : the provinces 
hailed with acclamation their young and beau- 
tiful sovereign. In the midst of these splendid 
marks of homage, that rendered to Maria Louisa 
by a little hamlet was conspicuous. Its tri- 
umphal arch was remarkable for one of the 
most simple inscriptions ; on the front was 


written ; " Pater Noster," and on the reverse ; 
"Ave Maria, gratia? plena." The curate and the 
mayor presented wild flowers. Flattery could 
not offer itself under a more pleasing form. 

Le Moniteur Secret, vA\\q\\ was published in 
1815, has assigned to me a part in a scene which 
took place, it is said, on board a vessel in a 
Belgian port. It is mistaken ; my health pre- 
vented my enjoying the honour of accompany- 
ing their INlajesties in that expedition. 

Their Majesties arrived at St. Cloud on the 
1st of June, at nine in the evening. A few 
days afterwards. General Savary was appoint- 
ed minister of police, in the room of Fouche, 
who had been appointed to the government 
of Rome. 

The rest of this month was devoted to pub- 
lic fetes and rejoicings ; they were terminated 
by a dreadful catastrophe. 

Great preparations had been ordered by 
Prince Schwartzenberg, the Austrian Ambassa- 
dor, for tlie fete which he gave their Majesties, 
on the 1st of July. The suite of rooms on the 
ground floor of the Hotel de Montesson, which 
he occupied in the Rue de la Chaussee d'Antin, 
not being sufficiently extensive, his architect 
had built a large wooden ball-room at the end 
of the other apartments, whicli was approached 


by a wooden gallery. The ceilings of this gal- 
lery were covered with paper, well varnished 
and ornamented with figures and pictures of 
various kinds. The floors of the ball-room and 
gallery, raised to a level with the other apart- 
ments, had timber supports ; an enormous lus- 
tre was suspended from the ceiling of the ball- 
room ; the two sides of the gallery and every 
part of the ball-room were lighted by smaller 
lustres placed against the walls. An alcove, 
raised above the rest, was reserved for the Im- 
perial family, in the centre of the right side of 
the ball-room. Behind this raised building, on 
one side was a little door for the particular vise 
and convenience of their Majesties. The fete 
commenced with dances performed in the gar- 
den, by the first dancers at the opera, in the 
midst of a magnificent illumination. The com- 
pany then repaired to the ball-room, where they 
danced for about an hour, when a current of 
air blowing one of the curtains placed at the 
windows of the wooden gallery against the 
wax lights, which unfortunately were too near, 
the curtains took fire. Count Dumanoir, the 
Emperor's chamberlain, and M. Tropbriant, en- 
deavoured in vain to extinguish the fire, which 
quickly reached the ceilings of varnished paper. 
In less than three minutes the fire, like a train 


of fire-works, gained the ceiling of the ball- 
room, and all the ornaments with which it was 

Prince Schwartzenberg forgot all personal 
anxiety, and busied himself only concerning 
the safety of the Imperial family, who quickly 
escaped by the private door, which had been 
provided behind the elevated building which 
they occupied. As soon as Napoleon reached 
the court-yard, he hastened the arrival of the 
carriage, and set out with the Empress*. As 
soon as he reached the Place Louis Quinze, he 
changed coaches, ordered them to drive the 
Empress to St. Cloud, and returned himself to 
the ambassador's palace, in order to contribute 
by his preseiice and orders, to the getting under 
the conflagration. The fragile and miserable 
building, already a prey to the flames, was en- 
tirely consumed before the engines could arrest 
their progress. As I happened to be very near 
the garden gate, 1 easily escaped among the 
first with the ladies who were with me. I was 
scarcely in the garden, when I heard the grand 
lustre fall with a tremendous crash ; cries of 
grief and terror mingled in this scene of hor- 
ror. The crowd who jjressed and almost smo- 
thered each other, rendered escape still more 
difficidt ; the floor of the ball-room could not 


bear this, it gave way, and numberless victims 
were crushed to pieces, and destroyed by the 
fire which surrounded them on all sides ; and 
in the garden — what cries !— what tears ! — The 
mother, with bitter sobs, called on her daugh- 
ter, the wife on her husband, the husband on 
his wife, the daughter on her mother, the 
friend on his friend : heart-breaking groans were 
the only answers to so much agony and grief. 
In a few minutes the flames had entirely de- 
stroyed a place which a short time before re- 
sembled an enchanted palace, and contained all 
the grace and beauty of France,— when all of 
a sudden, in the midst of the burning wreck, 
and when all was silent as death, a beautiful 
young woman, of an elegant figure, covered 
with diamonds, rushed forward deeply agi- 
tated, and uttering the most sorrowful and 
heart-rending cries— the cries of a despairing 
mother. . . . This afflicting apparition was as ra- 
pid as lightning breaking through a cloud. . . . 
In a moment afterwards the beautiful Princess 
Schwartzenberg was no more ; — and her 
young family were in the garden sheltered 
from all danger ! ! ! 

The presence of Napoleon, his instructions, 
and the assistance rendered by his orders to 
those who survived, though severelv injured, 


contributed greatly to the saving of some who 
must have fallen victims. Prince Kourakin, 
closely pressed by the crowd, and almost over- 
whelmed with the matter from the fire which 
fell on liim, owed his life to his beautiful gold 
stuff coat, from off which the burning frag- 
ments slid to the ground. He was however 
dreadfully burnt, and suffered much for three 
months afterwards. 

Prince Schwartzenberg, assured of the Im- 
perial family's safety, gave way to his grief. 
Large tears fell from his eyes : lie was so 
occupied with the misfortunes of others, that 
he did not see his family assembled round 

him He was aware only of what he 

had lost — his unfortunate sister-in-law. Dis- 
consolate, and unhappy to the highest degree, 
he retained his whole life a feeling of sorrow 
and melancholy which nothing could remove. 
When we call to mind that in similar cir- 
cumstances the fetes for the marria<re of 
Louis XVI., when Dauphin, were changed 
into mourning, we are tempted more than ever 
to think, that Providence reserves its most dread- 
ful catastrophes for persons of the highest rank. 

On the 5tli of July the abdication of the 
King of Holland was publicly known. This 
Prince, whose health was verv bad, was be- 


sides much annoyed on the one hand by the 
representations of the Dutch traders, who, suf- 
fering from the consequences of the conti- 
nental blockade, entered into hazardous smug- 
gling speculations ; and on the other, by a 
multitude of French custom-house officers, 
who had invaded all his sea-coasts, under the 
protection of a powerful body of men ; thus 
situated, he took the resolution of abandoning 
the throne to live in the obscurity of private 
life, first in Switzerland and then at Rome. 
His ill health may be dated from his very youth. 
I recollect that when I was at breakfast with 
Napoleon at Verona, in 1805, he said to me ; 
*' Poor Louis ! it was here, in this very town, 
in one of our first campaigns in Italy, that 
he experienced the most fatal accident. At 
one o'clock in the morning, a woman, whom 
he scarcely knew, broke into his house ; since 
which occurrence, he has been affected with 
nervous agitations, varying with the atmos- 
phere, for which distressing malady he has 
never been able to obtain a remedy." During 
this same breakfast, following the train of his 
recollections, the Emperor chanced to speak 
of General Junot, and related the manner in 
which he became acquainted with him. At 

junot's presence of mind. 235 

the commencement of his brilliant career, at 
the attack of a place, of which I forget the 
name. Napoleon arriving near a company of 
grenadiers much exposed to the enemy's fire, 
wishing to give a very urgent order, desired 
Captain Ragois, who commanded this com- 
pany, and was one of the bravest soldiers in 
the army, (the same who was afterward under- 
governor of the palace of Fontainebleau,) to 
write what he should dictate. Ragois, who 
was master of the art of war, but had no in- 
clination for writing, replied that he would go 
and call the genius of the company. " Junot ! 
Junot ! come forward out of the ranks." — 
Junot came, took the pen and paper, placed 
one knee on the earth, and wrote as Napoleon 
dictated, without the Emperor's getting off 
his horse : at the moment Junot finished wri- 
ting, a cannon-ball passed between Napoleon 
and him, and breaking up the ground, caused 
the dust to fly over the paper which Junot 
held on his knee : Junot got up laughing, and 
making a low bow to the cannon-ball, said : 
" We should be polite to all the world, and I 
am much obliged to this cannon-ball for hav- 
ing spared nie the trouble of stopping to 
gather up the dust." The sprightliness and 


courage of Jiniot delighted Napoleon, lie placed 
him near his person, and afterwards ! ! ! 

At this same period appeared the different 
reports of the commissions charged with pro- 
posing the best works for the decennial 
prizes — a great and noble idea which was not 
followed up. The biographical prize was 
decreed to the History of Fenelon, by my un- 
cle, formerly Bishop of Alais, who had under- 
taken a work from the manuscripts of the 
Archbishop of Cambray. These manuscripts 
had not been printed ; they belonged to the 
Marquis of Fenelon, whom I knew very well, 
and who was great-grand-nephew of that il- 
lustrious prelate. He was a man of pleasure, 
of a very amusing turn of humour, much 
addicted to play, and a lover of high living. 
Through a Avhim of nature he resembled in 
features his ancestor, of whom he had a little 
bronze bust placed on his parlour mantel-shelf. 
" If that good man were still alive," he would 
often say to me, " I am persuaded, that not- 
withstandmg the extreme gentleness of his 
character, he would begin each day by giving 
me the bastinado — and he would be quite 
right," he added, laughing. This nephew, so 
little like in morals to the virtuous prelate who 


had rendered his name so ilhistrious, had given 
these manuscripts in pledge to a bailiff to 
whom he owed a certain sum of money. It 
happened, fortunately, that this man was more 
honest and delicate than could liave been ex- 
pected, and that he constantly refused to sell 
these manuscripts either to government or to 
foreigners, for fear they should be made a bad 
use of, for they m fact contained things of a 
very delicate nature in more respects than one. 
This bailiff, then, would not deliver them, ex- 
cept to a well-known person, whose character 
would be a sufficient security for the good use 
he would put them to. JNI. I'Abbe Emery, 
the Superior of Saint Sulpice, and one of 
my uncle's great friends, joined with another 
person, whose name I forget, to purchase these 
precious manuscripts in my uncle's name, who 
engaged in the affair, on condition that he 
should have the reading and arranging of these 
papers, and be allowed to publish what he 
should deem useful and interesting, but be 
entirely exempt from all the expenses of the 
printing, and derive no profit from the sale ; 
he Avished for nothing but the pleasure and 
merit of the work. At first my uncle was 
quite alarmed at the frightful chaos and per- 
fect confusion in which these papers were de- 


livered to him. He passed several years in 
classing this confused mass of matter, and it 
was not until after reading, considering, and 
comparing one part with another; after con- 
necting the parts which were separated, and 
putting dates according to the most probable 
conjectures, that he began to know any thing 
of the matter. But this great task of arrang- 
ing was merely a preliminary work. I have 
reason to think that when he had thus ar- 
ranged and studied these precious manuscripts, 
he judged it impossible for him to publish the 
most interesting parts of them. I had fre- 
quently glanced at some of these manuscripts, 
when in the possession of the Marquis of Fe- 
nelon, who, before pledging them, used to keep 
them heaped one on another in a wooden-box. 
I had found in them things bold in politics, 
and which if handled by evil-disposed persons 
might have served, when detached, to justify 
principles which were doubtless foreign to the 
heart and opinion of Fenelon. But the wis- 
dom and judgment of my uncle made him omit 
all that might have been misinterpreted. He 
devoted liimself to this work with the more 
pleasure, because he was responsible to no one, 
and he could amuse himself with it at his lei- 
sure for some years; besides which it was suited 


to his character, and was not objectionable either 
on political or religious grounds. He was still 
more pleased with this employment, from the 
idea which he entertained that we can become 
intimately acquainted with great men, only 
by their private correspondence, and the free- 
dom with which they open their hearts in 
the bosom of friendship ; persuaded that the 
public will never be acquainted with their 
thoughts and weaknesses, although a thousand 
examples ought to show them that their cor- 
respondence is always made public at last. 
In fact, there exists in the public actions, and 
in the works of the most illustrious personages, 
a certain pomp of circumstance which is but 
too often nothing more than a deceitful cloak. 
We know them better by gliding into the 
private emotions and feelings of their hearts, 
when they are divested of all motives of in- 
terest, ambition, or vanity. It is this mode of 
judging the actions of celebrated men, which 
for some years back has rendered autograph 
letters so valuable. 

Holland was annexed to the French em- 
pire. I merely mention this circumstance be- 
cause it was the cause of a journey which we 
took in the month of September, 1811. Tlie 


urch-treasurer, the Duke of Placentia, was sent 
thither in the quality of governor-general ; he 
dispatched from thence a cargo of petitions and 
addresses of all kinds, which were followed by 
a grand deputation. 

25th September, 1810. 

Two months afterwards, the court was 
at Fontainebleau, and it was already whis- 
pered that the Empress was with child. The 
appointment of the Countess de Montesquiou 
to be governess of the royal infant, gave a per- 
fectly official appearance to this great event. 
A good daughter, a good wife, a good mother, 
and a faithful friend, the Coimtess de INIontes- 
quiou had long since acquired great respect 
and consideration ; her mind was matured by 
instruction, and her character was solid. She 
was one of those persons to whom duties are 
necessary, and well worthy in every respect of 
the important functions with which she was 
entrusted. This was one of Napoleon's own 

The celebrated Dubois was appointed sur- 
geon-accoucheur to the Empress. 

It was during our stay at Fontainebleau, that 
I became acquainted with Canova, who had 


been sent for to model the bust of the Em- 
press. The marble bust was finished at Rome, 
in 1814. It must be now at Parma; 30,000 
francs were to be paid for it. Akeady a pas- 
sionate admu'er of so great a genius, of whom I 
had seen so many masterpieces, among others 
the mausoleum of the Archduchess Christina 
at Vienna, which is equal to a poem for 
richness of composition and gTandeur of 
thought, I became a still greater admirer of 
his simphcity and good-nature. It gives me 
pleasure to record in my Memoirs all the ve- 
neration and enthusiasm with which he in- 
spired me. 

At this time a rather whimsical decree, which 
was never executed, was issued ; it was to 
fix the Pope's residence when he should come 
into France, at the palace of the Archbishop 
of Paris. 

vol,. II. u 



CzernichefF at Paris. — Discussions with Russia.^ — Accouche- 
ment of Maria Louisa, in the presence of twenty-three per- 
sons. — The town of Paris presents a magnificent cradle. — 
Stay at St. Cloud, after the Churching. — Anew-born infant 
is found; useless inquiries concerning it. — Departure for 
Rambouillet. — Journey to Cherbourg. — Napoleon tastes 
the soldier's soup. — Visit to the vessels in the harbour. — 
Passage to Chartres. — M. de Cazes. — Baptism of the King 
of Rome. — Sudden death of General Ordenner; anec- 
dotes. — Stay at Antwerp and at Amsterdam. — The Em- 
press visits the Village of Bruk. — Saardam. — Departure 
from Amsterdam. 

The Count de Czernicheff, aid-de-camp to the 
Emperor of Russia, came to reside at Paris on 
a secret mission, the real object of which was 
to observe the state of affairs. The cabinet 
of St. Petersburg already wished to relax the 
obligations to which it had consented at Tilsit 
and Erfurt, and felt its want of English pro- 
ducts and the commerce of England. The pre- 


sence of the Count de Czernicheff at Paris, 
was also a tribute to appearances for the pur- 
pose of maintaining the friendly relations then 
subsisting between the cabinet of the Tuileries 
and that of St. Petersburg. The latter conniv- 
ing at the introduction of English merchandize 
into the Russian ports, had authorized smug- 
gling, and violated all the treaties which had 
been signed and ratified. This want of faith 
was the first cause of war against Russia. 

That power likewise had not seen without 
alarm, the family-union which so closely con- 
nected the courts of Vienna and Paris. The 
Count de Czernicheff, under a light and trifling 
appearance, concealed a firm, bold, and enterpris- 
ing character ; as the result proved. Another 
object of his mission, which was necessarily 
connected with that which I have just nam.ed, 
was to ascertain by every possible means the 
real military power of France, in order that the 
defence might be proportioned to the attack, 
which the cabinet of St. Petersburg must 
have foreseen after the diplomatic injuries or 
neglects of which it had been guilty. It was 
during the journey of Coimt de Czernicheff 
from Petersburg to Paris, that is to say, on the 
31st of December, 1810, that the Emperor 
Alexander, under the pretext of enhancing the 

R 2 


value of paper-money (the rouble had fallen in 
the month of August of the same year, to 70 cen- 
times,) published the famous ukase concerning 
commerce, by which he prohibited the impor- 
tation of all French and German manufactures, 
and under pretence of favouring the trade of 
America, opened the Russian ports to English 
vessels, which hastened to import their colo- 
nial wares under that flag : this was eluding 
the treaty. The aggression did not come from 
Napoleon. The premature occupation of the 
Duchy of Oldenburg by Marshal Davoust, who 
took possession of it without receiving any 
orders, was also an indirect cause of this war, 
but it did not take place until the hostile inten- 
tions of Russia were well known ; this was a 
case for the employment of every means of 

From the 1st of February, the Empress be- 
gan to walk every day on the terrace of the 
garden of the Tuileries, which runs along by 
the river. To render the approach of this ter- 
race the more easy, it was opened to the ground 
floor, and in face of this opening there was a 
little door with an iron gate. Every one press- 
ed forward to see tiie Empress, and offered the 


most fervent prayers for her happy delivery. 
These walks lasted till she had gone her full 
time. At length, on the 19th of March, in the 
evening, she felt the first pains of child- 
birth : all the court, and great functionaries of 
the state assembled at the Tuileries, and waited 
with the greatest impatience for the moment 
which was to crown the wishes of France. 
Among the number who were present at the 
delivery of the yoimg mother, were the Coun- 
tesses de Montesquiou, Montebello, Lu^ay ; 
Messieurs Corvisart, Dubois, and Bourdier, the 
Emperor's physicians ; Messieurs Bourdois and 
Auvity, physicians to the lloyal Family ; the 
nurse, the nursery maids, &c. &c. The Empress's 
pains were very severe ; they diminished at five 
in the morning, returned again more strongly at 
six, and terminated at eight o'clock, when a dis- 
charge of one hundred-and-one guns informed 
the capital, and the whole of France, that a 
prince was just born. The moment after 
his birth, as soon as he had received the cus- 
tomary cares and attentions, I saw him, carried 
by the Countess de Montesquiou, who was ob- 
liged to cross the room where I was to reach 
the apartments of the new-born prince. The 
redness of his face showed how painful and la- 
borious his entry into the world must have 


been. He still continued crying, which afford- 
ed us much pleasure, as it announced life and 

The whole of France shared our joy, and 
Europe hastened to add its congratulations. 
The town of Paris presented the young king 
with a magnificent gilt cradle, representing a 
vessel, the emblem of the arms of that great 
capital. This cradle is at Parma. 

21st of April. 

After the ceremony of churching was over, 
the Court took up its abode at St. Cloud. 

The two Wednesdays on which were holden 
the two first councils of the ministers, two 
singular events occurred. As the council was to 
take place early and last a long time, it was 
Napoleon's custom to invite to breakfast all 
the distinguished personages whom he had con- 
voked. On Wednesday, the 1st of May, Na- 
poleon had hardly left the table, when the cord 
which suspended a magnificent lustre of crystal 
from Mount Cenis, gave way, and the table was 
broken to pieces. 

The following Wednesday, during breakfast, 
I heard feeble cries, proceeding from a place 
where the tables usually made use of were kept, 
and which communicated with the kitchen and 


other domestic offices by means of a staircase. 
When the Emperor returned to his apartments 
I went to visit this place with the steward : we 
found a new-born infant, but were unable to 
discover who had placed it there, or to whom 
it belonged. On my representation of this 
singular circumstance to the Grand Marshal, the 
infant was sent to the hospital well recom- 
mended. We conjectured that one of the nu- 
merous footmen might have concealed it in one 
of the large covered baskets employed for the 
purpose of carrying the articles necessary for 
the breakfast. But all our endeavours to arrive 
at the truth were unsuccessful. 

25tli of April. 
King Joseph came to Paris to congratulate 
the Emperor in person ; he was not comfortable 
in Spain, and he took advantage of this oppor- 
tunity to come and repose himself in Paris. 

The same day the Emperor convoked in a 
national council all the bishops of France for 
the month of June. A little time before, he 
had made a decree by the advice of the state- 
council, which rejected a brief of the Pope as 
contrary to the laws and ecclesiastical discipline 
of the empire. 


9th of May. 

In this month, their JMajesties quitted Ram- 
bouillet, to go and visit the works at Cher- 
bourg, which were just finished, and consisted 
in hollowing out a rock of granite to the depth 
of fifty feet. This vast and useful monu- 
ment was due to the perseverance and genius 
of the Emperor, who had given the order for 
its execution some years ago. During our 
stay, he wished to go and breakfast on the 
pier which had been commenced in the un- 
fortunate reign of the most virtuous of kings. 
It was beautiful weather : I arrived before their 
Majesties, and saw every thing properly ar- 
ranged. The table faced the sea : it was easy 
to perceive the English vessels in the distance 
of the horizon; they were certainly far from 
suspecting the presence of Napoleon. There 
was always a formidable battery on this pier, 
which served to protect the fine port and 
harbour. I do not think that our neighbours 
would have been tempted to salute us more 
nearly, even had they been better informed. 

As all private accounts of the life of Na- 
poleon are of an interesting nature, I shall here 
take the liberty of relating what I witnessed, 
in order to show the great self-command he 
possessed. He had a greater repugnance than 


any man I ever knew to any thing that was 
not extremely clean. The idea that there was 
a hair on his plate would have been sufficient 
to turn his stomach, and make him leave the 
table. After he had inspected the body-guard, 
and all the artillery, and made the latter go 
through part of their exercise, he ordered some 
of the bread and soup prepared for the soldiers 
to be brought him. He took a spoon, and 
filled it, when the first thing he beheld was a 
long hair : he pulled it out boldly, and swal- 
lowed the soup without showing the slightest 
disgust, not wishing to wound the feelings of 
the soldiers who surrounded him, by harsh ob- 
servations on their negligence. He placed 
himself at the table which had been provided 
for him. At a given signal, the squadron, 
which was ready in the harbour, composed of 
three first-rate vessels, commanded by Admiral 
Fronde, advanced majestically, with its sails 
unfurled, and sailed slowly round the pier on 
which we were. Never did I behold a more 
imposing spectacle. The Admiral's vessel after- 
wards came as close as possible to the pier ; the 
Vice-admiral came with his boat to take their 
Majesties and the persons composing their 
train : he conducted us on board liis vessel in 
the midst of shouts of joy, which resounded 


from the ships, dressed in all their colours, and 
the crews in full uniform. 

While the Empress and the ladies who ac- 
companied her reposed in the council-hall. Na- 
poleon went into the interior of the vessel to 
inspect it ; and, at a moment when we least 
of all expected it, he ordered a general and 
simultaneous discharge of all the guns. Never 
in my life did I hear such an uproar; I thought 
the vessel was going to be blown up into the air. 

We left Cherbourg on the 3rd of June, and 
returned to St. Cloud, after passing a day at 
Chartres. Among the number of authorities 
whom the Emperor admitted to his audience, 
was the Assize-court, over which IM. de Cazes, 
who was then only a councillor of the imperial 
court of Paris, presided. He delivered with 
grace and dignity a very remarkable speech. 
His health was then delicate ; but when T had 
next the honour of seeing him, in 1819, he 
was fresh, active, and quite an altered man. 
The ministry and the favour of the court 
agreed with him perfectly ; and I render him 
this tribute of praise with the greater pleasure, 
because I know that he never used his im- 
mense power but for the purpose of obhging. 
Under his ministry, all those who had ever 
been proscribed in a moment of exaspera- 


tion, were recalled to the soil of their native 

Magnificent preparations announced the ce- 
remony of the baptism of the heir presumptive 
to Napoleon, and grandson to the Emperor 
of Austria. I mention this well-known event 
only for the purpose of relating a pleasantry 
which was talked of. It was said that the 
mayors of Rome and Hamburgh meeting ac- 
cidentally, thus accosted each other ; " Good 
morrow, neighbour." This trifling occurrence is 
the finest eulogium on the government ; since 
it proves the union of action and power which 
directed the administration of such an extensive 

The council opened its sittings without com- 
ing to any conclusion. After a short stay at 
St. Cloud and at Trianon, the Court went to 

30th of August. 

A few days before our departure for Hol- 
land, General Ordenner, governor of the Palace 
at Compiegne, was suddenly taken off by a 
fit of apoplexy, while at his toilette. General 
Ordenner loved his family in a very remarkable 
degree. I recollect being one night at Pa- 


ris with a very brilliant company, at the house 
of Count R6musat ; Talma and his wife play- 
ed with admirable truth and earnestness the 
principal scene of Shakspeare's Othello. This 
great actor and his wife, dressed as people are in 
private life, excited a real, not an imaginary 
interest as on the stage. It was truly a family 
scene, a picture of jealousy in real life, follow- 
ed by all the tragical consequences that that 
violent passion can produce. The effect was 
prodigious. Still moved by the distressing emo- 
tions I had just experienced, I went into a 
small parlour with General Ordenner, who was 
placed near the door. His agitation was still 
greater than mine : he was clenching his hands, 
like a person who suffers from a nervous attack. 
I asked him what was the matter : " It is that," 
said he, with his Alsacian accent, '* it is that 
which I have just heard ... I could with cou- 
rage behold the death of my father, my mother, 
my children, . . . but that I cannot support." 
I related to Talma the strange effect which he 
had produced on this old warrior ; it seemed 
to me that no eulogium had ever afforded him 
more pleasure. 

I recollect another circumstance relating to 
General Ordenner. The Empress Josephine 
had once a fancy to go to the Opera, but in an 


undress, and to take her place in the loge grilled 
under the grand box which was always reserved 
for great public occasions. General Ordenner, 
the first groom, accompanied her, together with 
the ladies and officers of her household. Scarce- 
ly half an hour after the ballet had begun, a 
powerful smell of essence of roses was per- 
ceived in the box, which insensibly spread to 
the stage and to all around us. This smell be- 
came so insupportable, that it obliged the Em- 
press Josephine to quit the theatre with a dread- 
ful headache, which lasted the whole of the 
following day. General Ordenner had pulled 
a bottle of this essence out of his pocket, and 
after pouring some on his handkerchief, return- 
ed it again to its place, but neglecting to cork 
it securely, it had run entirely out of the phial, 
and occasioned the odour which annoyed us. 
Certainly he was the last among us whom we 
should have suspected of so unfortunate an 

19th September. 

The departure from Compiegne for Holland 
was made separately. Napoleon, wishing to 
visit some military posts on the coasts of Bel- 
gium, set out alone, one day before Maria 
Louisa, whom I had the honour to accompany 


to the castle of Laken. The place of meeting 
again with the Emperor was Antwerp, whither 
we repaired. Among the splendid f^tes which 
were given during the three days that we pass- 
ed there, I had the pleasure of seeing afloat a 
first-rate vessel, which had just been built in 
the timber-yard of that beautiful town. The 
Empress set out again alone from Antwerp, 
and did not join the Emperor until we arrived 
at the Dutch town of Gorcum. We stopped 
at Utrecht the 9th and 10th days of October ; I 
there saw presented to Napoleon, among the ad- 
ministrative authorities, a body of Jansenists, 
of a serious and austere air. I always thought 
hitherto, that Jansenism was regarded only as an 
isolated and personal opinion ; I was far from 
imagining that there existed a regularly consti- 
tuted body who taught that doctrine. Napoleon 
asked the superior of these Jansenists if they 
recognized the authority of the Pope ; he re- 
plied, that the Pope having declined all corre- 
spondence with them, they had been under the 
necessity of applying to the Archbishop of 
Dublin, whom they acknowledged as their im- 
mediate head. 

11th of October. 
Our entrance into Amsterdam was splendid. 


and the people, whom report had made us fear 
would be cold and distant, on the contrary re- 
ceived their Majesties with the most marked 
sentiments of kindness and respect. 

While we were in this town, the Empress 
expressed a wish to see the village of Bruk, 
situated a league beyond the port of Amster- 
dam, on the borders of a little bason surrounded 
by flowers and turf always fresh, and commu- 
nicating witli the Zuyderzee by a little canal. 
This pretty village is built in a circular form ; 
the houses are good, and the outsides are paint- 
ed in fresco; the door and window-frames, 
the pannelling of the walls inside, and the 
staircases, are of white marble. The pavement 
of the streets is mosaic, and there is no hovel 
to spoil this beautifully uniform appearance, 
which altogether resembles a magic scene of 
the time of the good fairies. Naturally care- 
ful, these Dutch will not allow any carts, 
coaches, or even single horses to go on the 
pavement, which they preserve with the 
greatest possible particularity. Each house has 
two doors, the one for daily use, and the 
other, which is opened only on the event of 
marriage and on the death of a person, wlicn 
his remains are to be transported to their 


last abode. The Burgomaster himself broke 
through the austere rules of the public sur- 
veyor of the roads, and desired that the im- 
perial carriage should pass over the mosaic 
pavement, and stop at his house, where he 
had the honour to receive and compliment 
the Empress. Her Majesty requested that 
the Jhtal door might be opened ; we crossed 
its threshold with a vanity quite diverting, 
in the presence of many of the inhabitants, 
who did not dare to imitate us, and who 
were almost tempted to admire the courage 
and facility with which we went in and came 
out. After having praised every thing, ad- 
mired every thing, and visited every thing, we 
left these honest people, who were charmed with 
the grace and kindness of their young sovereign. 
The inhabitants of Bruk are all rich, and 
carry on a direct trade with Dantzick and 
Russia. The custom of using marble for bal- 
last in their vessels, sufficiently shows the great 
abundance of that article. 

October 24. 
We quitted Amsterdam, and visited, in 
the midst of f§tes, Haarlem, the Hague, Rot- 
terdam, the palaces of Loo, Nimeguen, &c. 
The Emperor stayed two days at DusseldorfF, 


a charming town on the banks of the Rhine. 
I was there witness of a singular incident : 
according to his usual practice, Napoleon ad- 
mitted to an audience all the authorities, civil, 
military, and ecclesiastical, and the leading 
men of all religions. In the number of the 
latter, was a Rabbi with a white beard, a hun- 
dred years old, who was so determined to see 
the Emperor, that he had caused himself to 
be carried to the palace. He entered the hall 
of audience, supported on one side by the cure 
of the parish, and on the other by the pro- 
testant minister. Was this the effect of chance, 
or was it intended to give the Sovereign a 
proof of the admirable harmony which reigned 
between the different religions in his States ? 

After having visited at Cologne the Chapel 
of the Eleven Thousand Virgins, and made our 
purchases at Farina's, we proceeded to Saint 
Cloud, where the Court remained until the 
1st of December, when it fixed its residence at 
the Tuileries. 




I read a translation of the English journals during the 
Emperor's dinner. — Departure of CzernichefF. -Journey 
to Dresden. — The Emperor and Empress of Austria, the 
King of Prussia, and the Prince Royal, repair to Dresden. 
— Stay at Dresden. — Departure of the assembled Sove- 
reigns. — Napoleon sets out for the army. — Maria Louisa 
at Prague. — Residence there. — IMy journal of this resi- 
dence. — Carlsbad. — Visit to the mines of Frankenthal. — 
Egra, Bamberg, and Wurtzburg. 

In the month of January, on an evening 
appointed for one of those great court-circles 
where so much magnificence was displayed, 
Napoleon, on sitting down to table, put into 
my hand some written papers, telling me to 
read them aloud while he dined, because, as he 
was to hold his court in the evening he should 
not have time to do so himself. These papers 
were translations of English journals which 
were constantly sent him by the Duke of Bas- 
sano. At first I began with much confidence ; 


I soon however lost it, in reading the many 
harsh and disagreeable expressions which were 
employed in speaking of him. I was mucli 
embarrassed, because I saw the quick and pierc- 
ing eye of Napoleon, and his sarcastic smile. 
My situation was rendered still more painful, 
because I read these papers in the presence 
of the Empress, the pages, the stewards, and a 
great number of footmen of all descriptions. 
'* Read on," said Napoleon, whenever I stopped 
as if to take breath or use my handkerchief ; 
"read on, you will find plenty more." I en- 
deavoured to excuse myself, assuring him that 
I was afraid of being disrespectful. He took 
no notice, but laughing, ordered me to go on 
reading. Glancing as well as I could, over the 
lines which I was about to read, in order that I 
might take from the violence of their expres- 
sion, I arrived at a word for which I substi- 
tuted quickly enough the title of Emperor. 
Bungler that I was, I gave him a title which 
the English newspapers had never yet allowed 
him. He desired me to hand him the manu- 
script, and read aloud the word which I had so 
studiously avoided, returned the paper to me 
and desired me to read on. Fortunately I 
met with no more embarrassing passages. On 
the same night I related my adventure to the 

s 2 


Duke of Bassano : " What would you have 
me do ? The Emperor desires me to place be- 
fore him a rigorous and literal translation of 
the English papers. I must obey him, since he 
insists on seeing every thing himself." 

At this time all predicted a complete rupture 
with Russia. The Count de Czernicheff came 
to take leave of the Emperor at the palace de 
V Ely see, and left for Petersburg immediately 
after the audience. Twenty-four hours after 
his departure, the police discovered the secret 
springs which he had employed to procure 
from the office of the Prince of Neufchktel, 
and the war-minister authentic military ac- 
counts of the effective force of our armies. It 
was in vain that the telegraphs were put in 
motion, transmitting an order to stop him. It 
was too late, he had passed the frontiers, leav- 
ing behind the persons whose fidelity he had 
purchased, and whose lives he had compro- 

Their majesties left St. Cloud on the 9th of 
May, at half past five in the morning, and went 
to sleep at Chalons, at the prefect's hotel ; the 
following day at Metz, and on the 12th, at the 
imperial palace at IMayence. The same night, 
the Prince Primate was received by their Majes- 
ties, who dined with him on the 13th at As- 


chafFenburg and slept at Wurtzburg, at the 
Grand-duke's ; they had passed through Frank- 
fort, where tlie inliabitants and all the authori- 
ties had received them in the most splendid 
manner. On the very night of his arrival at 
Wurtzburg, Napoleon received a visit from 
the King of Wurtemberg, and from the Grand- 
duke of Baden. On the l6th, at ten at night, 
their JNIajesties arrived at Dresden, after hav- 
ing seen the King of Saxony, at Freyberg, 
whither that patriarch of good kings had gone 
to meet them. On the 17th, the Emperor and 
Empress of Austria arrived. The last time 
that these two Emperors saw each other, was 
by the fire of a bivouac in the plains of Mo- 
ravia, after the battle of Austerlitz. On the 
same day, the Queen of Westphalia and the 
Grand-duke of AVurtzburg repaired to Dres- 
den ; on the 26th, the King of Prussia, and on 
the 27th, the Prince Royal of Prussia. The 
presence of so many august personages threw 
the Court of Dresden into a continual state of 
movement and gaiety, and the constant succes- 
sion of f^tes, banquets, and receptions, must 
have proved a singidar contrast to the quiet 
and easy life of tliese venerable sovereigns. It 
is as well, however, to mention that the judg- 
ment and foresight of Napoleon were such, that 
he always endeavoured to conduct things with 


as little confusion and trouble as possible, and 
that he had given orders for all arrangements 
necessary to accommodate a numerous and 
distinguished assemblage. One day the assem- 
bled courts dined with him, and the next with 
the King of Saxony. The Empress was to 
keep up the same household during her in- 
tended residence at Prague. A part of the 
beautiful gilt service which the town of Pa- 
ris had presented at the marriage, had been 

All that has been written about the cold 
manner in which the King of Prussia was re- 
ceived is untrue. He was received as he had 
a right to expect, and in a manner becoming a 
powerful ally, who by a late treaty, had united 
his troops to those of France. 

I shorten all the ceremonies of etiquette, 
they are the same in all courts : — great din- 
ners, great parties, grand illuminations ; always 
standing, even during never-ending concerts ; 
sometimes riding, waiting in large saloons, al- 
ways serious, always on the look-out, and ever 
occupied either in performing duties, or set- 
tling pretensions and privileges. This is pretty 
nearly the sum of those pleasures so envied 
and sought after. The Coiu*t of Napoleon and 


that of the late Khig of Bavaria, are the only 
ones in which I have beheld natural freedom 
of intercourse. On the 29th, the Emperor 
and Empress of Austria set out for Prague, 
Napoleon for the army, and the King and 
Prince Royal of Prussia left the preceding 
night for Berlin. The Empress remained some 
days longer at Dresden, in order to give the 
necessary time for her reception at Prague. 
Durino: this time she went to see the charm- 
ing valley of Tharan, breakfasted at the cele- 
brated castle of Pilnitz, and then on to Koenig- 
stein, a fortress which is considered impreg- 
nable. It is situated on a very steep rock, near 
the banks of the Elbe. The Empress left 
Dresden on the 4th of July. At the Austrian 
frontier, Count Kollawrat, Grand-bourgrave of 
Bohemia, had the honour of being received by 
the Empress, as well as the Prince Clary, who 
was appointed to accompany her to Prague. 
On arriving, at midnight, at this Prince's palace 
at Tceplitz, she reposed two hours, and after- 
wards walked in the magnificent gardens at- 
tached to the palace. As these gardens were 
open to the public, a great concourse of spec- 
tators assembled in them ; fifty young girls of 
Tceplitz, very pretty and well-dressed, present- 
ed flowers ; open carriages were driving about 


the environs, and to and from the baths ; tri- 
umphal arches were every where erected, and 
the civil authorities ranged themselves around 
these arches ; numerous orchestras, escorts of 
cavalry, compliments, addresses, and a continual 
noise, surrounded the palace. The Grand-duke 
of Wurtzburg accompanied the Empress every 
where ; he dined with her Majesty, the Count- 
ess of Montebello, the Duchess of Bassano, 
Prince Clary, and Count JMontesquiou. Count 
KoUawrat set out before dinner to take a letter 
to the Emperor of Austria, which the Empress 
had written to announce her safe arrival at 
Toeplitz. In the evening, after dinner, the 
Empress sat in the balcony of one of her 
apartments, to see two companies of miners 
bearing their lamps and instruments, and sing- 
ing national airs in honour of her Majesty. 
This is a custom of the place, and a homage 
paid only to royalty. 

July 5. 

The Empress set out the next day ; and, at 
half a league from Prague, was met by the 
Emperor and Empress of Austria, with their 
whole court, all dressed ready for a grand 
entertainment. Her Majesty got into her fa- 
ther's carriage; the Empress of Austria gave 
up the right-hand seat at the back, and the 


Emperor of Austria placed himself in the 
front, with the Grand-duke of Wurtzburg. 
This splendid retinue entered the town of 
Prague in the midst of the firing of guns 
and ringing of bells ; tlie troops and vari- 
ous bodies of tradesmen lined the v/ay, and 
the houses were magnificently illuminated. 
In the apartments of the palace her Majesty 
found all the civil authorities of the town, 
the canonesses of the two noble chapters of 
the province, the personages of the court who 
had not formed a part of the train, and a 
numerous service of honour, wliich the Em- 
peror of Austria had chosen from among the 
most distinguished of his chamberlains. 

July 7. 

Visits of ceremony. Presentations. Ar- 
rival of the Archduke Charles — A grand im- 
perial banquet was given in the Emperor of 
Austria's apartments ; the Empress of France 
took her seat in the centre of the table, havinir 
her father, the Emperor, on her right hand, and 
the Empress of Austria on her left : this was 
always her place during the journey, whether 
at home or at her father's. She was served 
during dinner, at this imperial banquet, by 
Prince Clary, who had been appointed Grand- 
master of her household, and by four Aus- 


triaii chamberlains. The other sovereigns were 
served by their grand officers. After this ce- 
remonious banquet, their Majesties withdrew 
to their apartments, and all was finished for 

that day. 

July 8. 

The Archdukes John and Charles came to 
see the Empress for the second time. Before 
paying this visit, these princes wished to re- 
ceive the compliments of the officers belong- 
ing to the French household. The conversa- 
tion was interesting ; it was concerning the 
mineralogical wealth of Bohemia. I risked 
some observations on this subject, which I 
knew very little of ; but there are certain com- 
mon-place terms within the reach of every 
one. Those individuals, who, from their situ- 
ation, are allowed to approach near to persons of 
so exalted a rank, are not the only ones who ex- 
perience restraint and embarrassment. Princes 
themselves are often very much perplexed with 
the questions which their sense of politeness 
induces them to ask of persons on subjects of 
which they know nothing. The few words 
which I had hazarded on the geological wealth 
of Bohemia, sufficed to establish my reputation 
as a clever mineralogist; and as all the Arch- 
dukes succeeded each other in two days, and 


gave each other hints concerning our different 
characters, it was my fate to be continually 
questioned on mineralogy by these august per- 
sonages, who, fortunately better informed than 
myself, spoke of this matter in a much more 
learned and fluent manner. Delighted at hav- 
ing found a subject on which to converse with 
us, they paid but little attention to my short 
and prudent answers. This kind of glory, to 
which I had no pretension, was carried to such 
an extreme, that on the 26th of July, having 
accompanied their INIajesties of Austria and 
France in the visit they paid to the mag- 
nificent cabinet of mineralogy at Prague, the 
Emperor of Austria, in my presence, desired 
his grand-chamberlain. Count A^^urbna, to 
show me the most beautiful specimens. Un- 
fortunately, Count Wurbna, unintentionally, I 
believe, presented to me a sample without 
telhng me its name ; he assured me it was very 
curious, and seemed to wait for my opinion. 
Reduced to the last extremity, I hazarded 
the first mineralogical word which came into 
my mind. " Oli, no !" rei)lied Count Wurbna, 
taking the specimen out of my hand ; " it is 
crystallized chrome." If I had not accompa- 
nied tlieir Majesties on this visit, I should still 
pass at the court of Vienna for a very learned 


mineralogist. Happily for my self-love, we 
were to set out in two days, and all the visits 
of the Archdukes were over when this hap- 

In the evening the assembled Courts went 
in coaches to see the illuminations of the town. 
This ride, which was performed at the slowest 
possible pace, lasted five hours and a half. 

July 9. 

Repose, promenade, dinner ; departure of 
the Archdukes Charles and John. 

July 10. 
Promenade ; dinner with the Empress of 
France ; went to the grand theatre, — a German 
drama by Kotzebue. 

July 11. 

Promenade ; dined with the Emperor of 

July 12. 

Visit to the Imperial Library, to the Draw- 
ing School, and to the Mechanical Museum. 
The professors of physics attempted some ex- 
periments in which they did not succeed. The 
professors of chemistry were not more for- 

July 13. 

The Archdukes Antony and Reynier ar- 
rived ; we were presented to them. New ques- 


tions on mineralogy when my turn arrived. In 
the afternoon, after dinner, there was a ball 
in the apartments of the Empress of France, 
in honour of the three young Archduchesses, 
sisters of her JNIajesty. It had at first been 
intended to give this ball privately, and, as it 
were, with closed doors, on account of the ex- 
treme youth of these beautiful princesses, but 
the Empress insisted that all the persons of 
her household should be admitted. This ball 
finished at seven o'clock in the evening, by a 
dinner at the Emperor of Austria's. 

July 14. 
As usual. 

July 15. 

The same. 

July 16. 

A promenade of seven leagues, to the Castle 
of Count Kotech. An excursion on the water. 
Return to Prague, and arrival of the Archduke 

July 17. 

Presentation of the Archduke Albert. More 
mineralogy. — The rest as usual. 

July 18. 

The Empress Maria Louisa rides on horseback 
in the riding-house of the Wallenstein hotel. 
Arrival of the Prince de Ligne. This amiable 


prince possessed all the qualities which consti- 
tute the charm of society ; he was witty, noble 
without being haughty, affectionate, polite, and 
graceful ; his imagination was as lively as it 
was fertile, and his conversation, although 
kind, and in the best taste, was sprightly and 
animated ; he was always rich in excellent 
bon-mots, jokes, and sallies of humour which 
amused without wounding the feelings or self- 
love of any one, striking anecdotes, and inte- 
resting recollections. His features were hand- 
some, his physiognomy noble, his manners 
simple and natural, and his stature very tall. 
Every one liked him at first sight, and finished 
by loving him. 

This day terminated by a grand fete given 
by the Grand-bourgrave. 

July 19. 
The same events. Arrival of the Archduke 
Joseph, Palatine of Hungary. More minera- 
logy. An audience granted to Madame Col- 
loredo, her Majesty's former governess. Ma- 
dame Colloredo is now Princess of Lambesk. 

July 20. 

As usual. 

July 21. 
Keception of the Princess of Mecklenburg 
and Hesse Homburg. A grand dinner, and 


afterwards a grand dress-ball in an immense 
hall of the palace. Four hundred tickets dis- 
tributed among the inhabitants of the town, 
even to all the canonesses of the noble chap- 
ters. After their Majesties' departure, a grand 
attack on the pies, hams, &c. &c. took place ; 
this memorable siege lasted until six in the 
morning, and the company retired in the midst 
of a pouring rain. 

July 22. 

Her Majesty rode on horseback with the Em- 
peror her father, who, perceiving with what 
pleasure she mounted the pretty horse provid- 
ed for her, immediately made Jier a present of 
him. The Empress named him Haradshim, 
which was the name of the mountain on which 
the palace of Prague is built. The Archduke 
Albert left in the evening. 

July 23. 

Visit to the hermitage of Saint Yvan, six 
leagues from Prague, and to Carlsteim, an old 
castle, built in 1329, under the reign of the 
Emperor Charles IV. Return to Prague to 
dinner, at eleven o'clock at night. 

July 24. 

Representation at the grand theatre of JM. 
Paer's opera of " Sargino." The Courts went 
thither in full dress. I find in my memoran- 


diims (and it is no doubt seen that I confine 
myself to copying them), I find, I say, the 
observation I made about this time, that, at 
the Emperor of Austria's table, almost all the 
guests usually had arm-chairs, while at that 
of her IVIajesty there were but three ; one for 
each of the Empresses and another for the 
Emperor of Austria. These important re- 
marks made, I continue. 

July 25. 

Presentation to the Archduke Iludolph. 
Last conversation on mineralogy. It is to be 
observed, that the Archdukes, the Emperor's 
brothers, arrived successively in the order 
of their various ages. The Archduke Ru- 
dolph, the youngest of all, had very bad 
health; he was of a most gentle and amiable 
disposition ; he painted with all the talent of 
an artist, and was an excellent musician. He 
is now a Cardinal, and Bishop of Olmutz, the 

most important see in the empire. 

July 26. 

Ball given by the Empress of France. Ar- 
rival of the Archdukes Maximilian and Fer- 
dinand, brothers to the Empress of Austria. 

July 27. 

Grand banquet at the Austrian court. 

DIARY. 272 

July 28, 29, 30. 

Grand illuminations and preparations for de- 

I am very sensible that the notes which I 
have here inserted are of themselves destitute 
of interest, but thought it right to do so in 
order to show with what attention and anxious 
regard the consort of Napoleon was received in 
her august family, and what a sentiment of 
homage and consideration he had impressed on 
all who surrounded him. I shall continue ex- 
tracting from my notes. These were the last 
gleams of Napoleon's power abroad. 

August 1. 
Departure from Prague, witli the Emperor 
of Austria ; dine and sleep at SchoenofFen. 

August 2. 
Walk in the beautiful gardens of the palace, 
and sleep at Carlsbad. The Emperor of Aus- 
tria dines with his daughter. 

August 3. 
Visit to the mineral springs ; these waters 
are very beneficial to the stomach. 

August 4. 
Visit to Franckenthal. To the tin mines. 
The Empress, by means of an arm-chair, placed 
at the entrance, and guided by weights, de- 
scended to the depth of six hundred feet ; all 



sides being brilliantly illuminated. The arm- 
chair was drawn up again, and the Emperor of 
Austria and all the ladies descended also in 
their turns. The men descended by ladders 
which were placed there, and commonly used 
by the miners. I endeavoured to follow, but I 
found that my full habit of body required a 
less foggy atmosphere ; I quickly returned, and 
in spite of my well-known taste for mineralogy, 
I seated myself quietly in the space outside 
the entrance. I pulled off the miner's frock, 
which you are obliged to put on in order to 
avoid the penetrating damp which the earth 
sends forth. This kind of garment is of black 
leather, and has nothing agreeable in it. It 
is a complete mask. The men who came up 
out of this abyss appeared like so many phan- 
toms ; the ladies only appeared still more fair 
and beautiful under this villanous dress. Af- 
ter each had laughed heartily at his neighbour, 
we went to breakfast at Schoenfeld, and re- 
turned to Carlsbad at six in the evening;. 

August 5. 
Departure from Carlsbad ; arrival at Frantz- 
brun ; fresh mineral springs at the port of Egra ; 
local dances and national music. 

August 6'. 
On this day the Empress separated from her 

DIARY. 275 

father, whom she did not see again until the 
month of April, 1814, at Kambouillet, in the 
midst of Cossacks who guarded the palace. 
We slept at Bamberg at the palace of Duke 
William of Bavaria. 

August 7- 
Her JNIajesty arrived at Wurtzburg, where 
the Grand-duke, her uncle, received her with 
royal magnificence. After some excursions to 
the castle of Verneck, several water parties, 
illuminations, concerts, &c., which the Grand- 
duke directed himself, the Empress set out for 
Saint Cloud, where she arrived on the 18th 
of July. 

T 2 



My preparations for the journey to Russia. — I am entrusted 
with the Empress's despatches, and with the portrait of 
the King of Rome, painted by Gerard. — Account of this 
celebrated artist.— Anecdote of the grand portrait of Maria 
Louisa. — Memorandum on the Emperor's projected em- 
bellishments of the Louvre. — Mj journey and arrival at 
the head-quarters, on the 6th of September, the eve of the 
battle of the Moscowa. — Napoleon opens the case which 
contains the portrait of his son. — Battle of Moscowa. 

My first object on arriving at Paris, was 
to prepare for my journey to head-quarters. 
My horses and unpretending carriages had al- 
ready been there some time. I was ready to 
set out, and went to take leave of the Em- 
press ; but this Princess wished to entrust me 
with the portrait of her son which Gerard had 
finished painting. Thanks to the complaisance 
and obliging behaviour of this great painter, 
this picture well packed up, was placed on the 
roof of my carriage, of which it took up the 
whole space. I seize with pleasure this op- 

M. GERARD. 277 

portunity of mentioning Gerard. I find among 
my papers a note which contains a full account 
of his works, and which may interest those 
who have not, like me, had an opportunity of 
becoming acquainted with his genius and the 
superiority of his talents. 

Gerard's first work was Belisarius, and the 
enthusiasm it excited even among his clever ri- 
vals will never be forgotten. These suffrages 
must have inflamed his emulation ; but unfor- 
tunately, having charges and duties to sustain, 
he could not then devote himself entirely to 
the historical style which delighted his imagi- 
nation ; he was condemned to work at a style 
more profitable than glorious, and he composed 
a long series of drawings for the beautiful 
editions of Didot. He painted portraits also. 
His success, and the many applications made 
to him, often from superior rank, brouglit upon 
him, unjustly enougli, the reproach of sacri- 
ficing too much to this lucrative branch of the 
art. He might, however, have replied, that the 
features of the most celebrated personages of 
the age, which he perpetuated upon liis canvass, 
naturally entered into tiie province of history. 
When he became less restrained by circum- 
stances, he abandoned himself to the influence 
of his genius, and tlic world hailed witli ad- 


miration the appearance of his Psyche, and 
several historical pictures ; and it is remarkable, 
that the value of his pictures was almost 
always tripled when they changed owners. 
This increase of value, if it did not add to the 
profits of the artist, served at all events to con- 
firm the reputation of his works. The apart- 
ment called the family room at St. Cloud, con- 
tained the whole-length portraits of Napoleon's 
family, painted by Gerard ; all excellent like- 
nesses, and admirably finished and coloured. 
Tlie noblest of his productions, at the period I 
am speaking of, was the picture of Austerlitz. 
It appeared absurd to fix it on the ceiling of 
the council-chamber; this difficulty did not stop 
him ; he drew from it the double advantage 
of choosing a favourable point of view for the 
picture, and of adding some allegorical figures, 
in which his admirable talents shone forth 
under a new form. These colossal figures were 
Victory, Fame, Justice, and Poetry, unrolling 
and sustaining in the air an immense tapestry, 
in which the principal events of Napoleon's life 
were represented : the battle of Austerlitz was 
placed in the middle. Before the departure of 
Napoleon for Dresden, M. Gerard came to tell 
me, just as tlie Emperor was going to breakfast, 
that he had brought the whole-length portrait 

M. GERARD. 279 

of the Empress, which had been ordered, en- 
treating me at the same time to inquire, when 
he sat down to breakfast, where he would 
liave it placed, in order that it might be hung 
where he wished and in a favourable light. I 
received the Emperor's orders, who desired 
that it miglit be placed in the gallery of Diana, 
and I informed M. Gerard. After breakfast the 
Emperor went to seek the Empress, and tliey 
repaired together to the gallery, through the 
interior of tlie apartments. M. Gerard and I 
were waiting for them. Napoleon admired the 
striking likeness, and praised the great talent of 
the artist ; but it being his habit always to make 
some observation, he gave it as his opinion 
that the white satin dress looked like a wet 
irown. Gerard remained silent, and I made 
bold to reply, " Your IVIajesty is quite right ; 
and you have paid the liighest compliment to 
this beautiful composition." Napoleon engag- 
ed most likely with other thoughts, took my 
observation for granted, and rendered fidl and 
entire justice to the miiuitiae as well as to the 
general effect of this magnificent portrait. As 
soon as their Majesties had retired, Gerard 
tbouglit proper to thank me. "You are satisfied 
with me," said I ? " Well ! I assure you I was 
not aware of the \ahie of my speech. I spoke 


at random and without reflection ; with the 
Emperor you should never be at a stand. The 
great point is to elude a discussion which com- 
mences badly. It is always better to leave a 
favourable impression." 

This portrait of the Empress holding her son 
in her arms, was painted by the order of the 
princess, who went herself to M. Gerard's ])aint- 
ing-room to see the commencement of it. Ma- 
ria Louisa was particularly interested about it, 
because she intended it for a present to the 
Emperor. This picture was placed in the blue 
room near his Majesty's cabinet. 

After the presentation of this portrait. Na- 
poleon conversed with M. Gerard very freely. 
I heard all that the most enlightened and well- 
directed taste could imagine for embellishing 
the inside of the Louvre : his intention was to 
invite all the genius of the age to unite in 
this design by new masterpieces. He told 
Gerard that he would send to him Baron Cos- 
tar, superintendant of the public edifices, to 
consult with him on the most proper decora- 

I will spare you the details of my long jour- 
ney. I set out, carrying with me the portrait 


of the beautiful infant. From St. Cloud, till 
1 reached the head-quarters, I found the road 
covered with soldiers, walking singly, or in 
companies ; wounded men going into their 
houses, prisoners under escort, regiments of ar- 
tillery, and all sorts of equipages ; in short, a 
continual bustle : it seemed as if France, Ger- 
many, Italy, Prussia, Poland, and Spain, had 
given each other the rendezvous on this narrow 
passage. A multitude of persons employed, 
and idlers of all descriptions, encumbered the 
rear of the army ; and it was not without diffi- 
culty that I reached his Majesty's tent on the 
Gth of September, at nine in the morning, after 
travelling thirty-seven days. I delivered to him 
the despatches I had received from the Empress, 
and inquired his wishes concerning the portrait 
of his son. I thought, that being the eve of 
a great battle which he had so longed for, he 
would delay for some days opening the case 
which contained this portrait. I was mistaken ; 
eager to enjoy the sight of a person so dear to 
his heart, he ordered me to bring it to his tent 

I cannot express the pleasure he experienced 
at the sight of it. The regret that he could 
not press liis son to his heart alone detracted 
from so sweet an enjoyment His eyes ex- 


pressed real tenderness. He called all the offi- 
cers of his household, and all the generals who 
waited at some distance to receive his orders, 
that 1^ they might share the sentiments which 
filled his bosom. " Gentlemen," said he, " if 
my son was fifteen, believe me, he himself 
would be here in the midst of so many brave 
men, in place of his portrait." A moment after 
he added, *' This portrait is admirable." He 
had it placed on a chair outside his tent, in 
order that the soldiers and officers of his guard 
might see it, and thence derive fresh courage. 
It remained in that situation all day. 

M. Gerard made a copy of this beautiful 
work, and exhibited it the same year in the 
Museum. This portrait was perfectly well 
engraved. The young infant is represented 
as half lying in his cradle, playing with a little 
globe and sceptre. 

During the Emperor's residence at the Krem- 
lin, his son's portrait was placed in his bed- 
room. I know not where it is now. 

I found Napoleon quite well ; he appeared 
to me exactly the same in mind and body, and 
not in the slightest degree inconvenienced by 
the fatigues of so rapid and complicated an 


As all that relates to military operations is 
quite out of my line, I shall merely relate what 
I myself witnessed. Placed there without 
desire for fame, or feelings of ambition, I was 
actuated by no other sentiments than those of 
attachment and gratitude. My services about 
the Emperor's person commenced on the very 
day of my arrival. 

On the following day, the 7th of September, 
on which the bloody battle of the Moscowa 
took place, I was from five o'clock in the 
morning stationed near the officers who wait- 
ed the orders of Napoleon. We were placed 
at the bottom of a redoubt which had been 
taken from the enemy the evening before ; 
it was the spot from which all the orders were 
given. General Montbrun, one of our most 
distinguished soldiers, left us at full gallop, 
and burning with warlike ardour. He had just 
received an order from Napoleon to attack a 
formidable redoubt, placed in the centre of 
the enemy's army, which spread death in all 
parts. I cannot express the grief I felt, when 
Napoleon was informed, two hours afterwards, 
that this illustrious warrior liad fallen under 
the enemy's fire, in the midst of a most splen- 
did charge. I knew and loved my country- 
man IMontbrini. lie carried with him the 


esteem, the attachment, and the regret, of the 
whole army : he would probably have received 
the staff of Marshal had he survived so much 
courage and glory. I was expressing my grief 
to Augustus de Caulaincourt, who formed one 
of our group, when the Emperor, looking our 
way, perceived him, and calling him to him, 
gave him the command of the brave troops, 
whom the death of General Montbrun had 
left without a head. He returned to us, his 
heart filled with a noble joy, in which I did 
not participate, for it penetrated me with the 
most sorrowful recollections. He ordered his 
horses to advance, embraced the best of bro- 
thers, bade us farewell, and was off as quick 
as lightning, followed by his aid-de-camp. 
And he also, at the head of fifty cuirassiers, 
commanded by their brave colonel, JNl. Cris- 
tophe, fell in this fatal redoubt, which was 
carried by assault, and decided the fate of the 
battle. He fell, leaving a beautiful young 
widow, to whom he had been united only 
some hours before his departure for the army. 
He was interred in this redoubt, the tragical 
scene of so many celebrated exploits ! 

On the morning of that day, so fatal and 
so glorious to the French army, some bullets 


passed over the head of Napoleon, and the 
group behind him in whieh we were. He 
ordered General Sorbier to advance some bat- 
teries of artillery to protect us from them. 
Two hours later they appeared again, and we 
feared for a moment that the enemy had re- 
covered his ground. By degrees the enemy's 
firing abated, and the expiring bullets rolled 
and stopped at Napoleon's feet, who gently 
pushed them away as a person would remove a 
stone in his path. He was talking to JNIarshal 
Davoust, who had just had his horse killed 
under him, and who, suffering from the shock 
he experienced in his fall, with difficulty fol- 
lowed Napoleon up and down the little space 
on whieh he went backwards and forwards. 
About two o'clock in the morning, the noise 
of the Russian cannon became distant. The 
redoubt once carried, the ranks of the enemy 
became disordered ; they drew back, and fought 
so as to lose as little as possible. The victory 
was complete, the trophies immense : but piti- 
less death destroyed on the field of battle more 
than 50,000 warriors of all nations ; of the Kus- 
sians, it is computed, more than 30,000, with- 
out counting the wounded and prisoners. 

At noon I asked Napoleon if lie would 


breakfast. The battle was not yet gained ; he 
made a negative sign. I had the imprudence 
to say tliat I saw no reason why one should 
not breakfast when one could ; upon which he 
dismissed me rather sharply. Some time after- 
wards he took a piece of bread and a glass of 
Chambertin, without mixing it with water. 
He had taken a glass of punch in the morning, 
because he had a bad cold. 



Te Deum at Moscow for the battle of the IMoscowa. — Cus- 
tom of the Court of Vienna at the conclusion of a battle — 
Hurrah ! of the Cossacks. — The Emperor visits the tield 
of battle ; orders concerning the wounded. — Mojaisk. — 
The 14th of September before Moscow. — The Emperor's 
entrance into Moscow. — Conferences of the Cossacks with 
the King of Naples. — Philip Segur and I receive an order 
to visit the Kremlin. — First appearance of the conflagra- 
tion. — This fire must be attributed to the Ru.ssians. 

Accordino- to tlie return of the artillery we 
fired more than fifty -five thousand shot ; the 
Russians fired at least as many ; thus the tre- 
mendous noise which accom])anied tliis memo- 
rable battle may be imagined. 

About four o'clock Napoleon mounted his 
horse, and went to the corps of the van-ouard 
commanded by the King of Naples, and to 
those of the V^iceroy and INlarslial Ne3% who 
had fought so valiantly. At seven o'clock he 
returned to the tent which had been prepared 


for him behind tlie redoubt which was taken 
on the 6th, and on the other side of which he 
had remained during the battle, in front of the 
enemy. He dined with the Prince of Neuf- 
chatel and Marshal Davoust. His tent was 
divided into three parts : the first served as a 
sitting and dining room, the second contained 
his bed, and the last was a cabinet for his secre- 

I observed that, contrary to custom, he was 
much flushed, his hair was disordered, and he 
appeared fatigued. His heart was grieved at 
having lost so many brave generals and soldiers. 
Doubtless he felt, for the first time, that glory 
had been too dearly bought; this sentiment, 
which cannot but do him honour, was certainly 
one reason Avhy he refused to order the advance 
of the cavalry of the guard, according to the 
wishes of the King of Naples, the Viceroy, and 
Marshal Ney, who thought by that means to 
pursue the enemy, and reiider the victory more 
complete. Perhaps, also, more occupied with 
the grand ensemble of his situation than with 
the objects of detail which determined these 
brave officers, he carried his thoughts and 
plans beyond them. For my part, I cannot 
but thank him for having spared the chosen 
army which formed his guard, for it was to 

TE DEUM. 289 

this army that we owed our safety in the re- 
treat ; there we were again to find them, noble, 
great, generous, and faithful, alone preserving 
their arms in the midst of the despair which 
had seized upon, and overwhelmed all the rest 
of the army. At all events, the victory was so 
complete that the Russian army could not for 
a moment hope to defend its capital. This 
circumstance, however, did not prevent the 
Russians from singing Te Deums, for the pre- 
tended success of this lost battle. These Te 
Deums no longer mean any thing. Each party 
exaggerates and diminishes. In Austria, for 
example, every officer who brings news from 
the army, is commanded to assemble all the 
postilions attached to the neighbouring posts 
of Vienna, furnished with their little horns, 
after the fashion of a huntsman's horn, and thus 
to enter the capital with the most noisy flou- 
rishes. All these trumpettings of etiquette give 
no notion of the nature of the despatches, for 
often at the conclusion of this noisy parade, an 
order has been given tp pack up the most 
valuable effects and to send them to Hungary, 
towards which sometimes the Court also has 
proceeded on leaving the temple, where a Te 
Deum had just been sung to tliank God for a 
great victory. 

VOL. II. u 


The temples of St. Petersburg resounded 
with similar songs of triumph ; and on the re- 
port of the English commissioners appointed to 
see to the proper application of the subsidies 
received by Russia, and the registering of the 
military operations, the Exchange at London 
was in high glee for twenty -four hours; but 
this joy was soon extinguished by the publica- 
tion of the nineteenth bulletin, which announc- 
ed our entrance into the capital of old Russia. 
As I am perfectly disinterested, my account 
may be believed. The army, instead of fall- 
ing back as the English commissioners asserted, 
continued advancing, and overturned the last 
Russian body which endeavoured to stop us at 
Mojaisk, three leagues farther than the battle 
field of Moscow. 

I returned to the head-quarters, where we 
remained on the 8th. While we were reposing, 
an alarm was given towards noon, in conse- 
quence of the appearance of a numerous body 
of Cossacks, who, separated from the Russian 
army, had accidentally approached us. A slight 
movement sufficed to drive them back. An 
hour afterwards. Napoleon mounting his char- 
ger, and followed by an officer of his staff, rode 
over the field of battle. I followed, and on my 
way made some bitter reflections on the fatal 


results of the quarrels of iiionarchs. Whole 
lines of Russian regiments, lying on the ground 
wet with their blood, showed that they had 
preferred death to retiring a single step. Na- 
poleon collected all possible information on 
these sorrowful places, he even observed the 
numbers on the buttons of the uniforms, in 
order that his bulletins might be correct, and to 
ascertain the nature and positions of the corps 
put in motion by the enemy ; but what he 
was chiefly anxious about was the care of the 
wounded. He ordered them to be carried into 
a large neighbouring abbey, \vhich was convert- 
ed into an hospital. We followed him into the 
great redoubt, the conquest of which had been 
w^atered witli the blood of so many generous 
victims. Two of our party, abandoned to the 
most just grief, did not follow Napoleon, M. 
de Caulaincourt, and M. de Canouville ; they 
turned aside, their eyes filled with tears, from 
this burial-ground which contained the glorious 
remains of their brothers. 

We went to sleep at Mojaisk, and beheld on 
our right and left fortified ])ositions which the 
Russians had erected with the intention of de- 
fending themselves, but which the rapidity of 
our march liad prevented them from occupying. 
INIojaisk was filled with the wounded of both 

u 2 


nations. Several of our generals who had been 
at the great battle, and among others. Generals 
Belliard, Rapp, Nansouty, &c. were carried thi- 
ther. At length, on the 14th of September, at 
midnight, we arrived at the gate of JNIoscow, 
without having met a single enemy. The van- 
guard, under the command of the King of Na- 
ples, penetrated into the town, and drove out 
the Cossacks, who without remorse w^ere pil- 
laging the few remaining inhabitants. Between 
the regular Cossacks and the King of Naples, a 
kind of treaty and cessation of hostilities took 
place in one of the principal squares ; they ask- 
ed and obtained some moments of respite, to 
gather together their men, and retire without 
committing any havoc ; above all, they espe- 
cially commended to the generosity of the con- 
queror a number of wounded whom they were 
obliged to leave behind. It was mistaking the 
character of the French army to doubt what 
would be their conduct, but unhappily the con- 
flagration lighted by the Russians themselves, 
prevented their receiving that assistance which 
their situation required. While these humane 
negotiations were going on, the Cossacks, who 
had always seen the King of Naples dressed in 
a remarkable manner, exposed the first at the 
head of the van-guard, approached him with 


respect, mingled with pleasure and admiration. 
This prince was the only one in the army who 
wore in his hat a large plume of white feathers, 
and who was dressed in a kind of grey Polish 
frock, made of linen cloth, and trimmed with 
sable. The King gave them all the money he 
had about him, and his watch, and when he 
had nothing more to bestow, he borrowed the 
watches of Colonel Gourgaud, his officers, and 
his aid-de-camps. (His liberality did not injure 
those who surroiuided him, for they afterwards 
received presents of greater value than the 
articles they lent.) These Cossacks loudly ex- 
pressed their delight, and declared that they 
were not astonished at finding one of the 
bravest in the French army one of the most 

Napoleon dismounted at the gate of Mos- 
cow, and stopped on the left, where the Rus- 
sians had lined some works of defence with 
turf. He waited there for the van-guard to 
clear the town of any scattered remains there 
might be of the enemy's army ; perhaps, also, 
he expected that some of the local authorities 
would present him with the keys of that capi- 
tal. But the Governor Rostopchin had taken 
good care of all this. With the exception of 
two or three thousand banditti, tlie town was 


deserted ; all that could be done was to collect 
together from fifty to sixty individuals of all 
nations established for some time at Moscow, 
and who, far from having any thing to offer, 
came to beg asssistance and protection ; for the 
Russians before their departure had first ill-treat- 
ed and then pillaged them. Napoleon at length 
determined on entering the Faubourg Dorogo- 
milou, where he established his head-quarters, 
in a iiH^ house built of wood. The army bi- 
vouacked in this Faubourg, which is almost 
separated from the fine part of the town by 
the river Moscowa which crosses it. Count 
Philip Segur and myself had scarcely arrived, 
when we received an order, followed by a de- 
tachment gendarmerie d' elite, to visit and give 
an account of the Kremlin. We knew from 
the reports of the Russian prisoners, and from 
those of the foreigners established at Moscow, 
that, for some time back, fire-brands and com- 
bustible preparations had been made by a che- 
mist, who was said to be a German, but whom 
we afterwards discovered to be an English- 
man. This individual, seconded by a number 
of workmen, had been for a long time conceal- 
ed in the castle of WoronzofF, a little distance 
from Moscow, under the protection of Go- 
vernor Rostopchin. It had even been officially 


stated for the satisfaction of the inhabitants, 
that an enormous balloon was there construct- 
ing which would hold fifty persons, who were 
to be charged with combustible matter, which 
they were to throw on Napoleon's camp ; this 
story was believed by the JNIuscovites. What is 
much more probable, and indeed certain, is, that 
in this concealment was manufactured an im- 
mense quantity of flax soaked in tar, brimstone, 
and bitumen, in order to make the intended con- 
flagration so fierce and so rapid, that it should 
be impossible to extinguish it ; in fact, large 
quantities of these articles were found in all the 
deserted houses. The pipes of the stoves even 
of the Governor's palace, which was not burnt, 
and which was occupied by General Laborde, 
were filled with infernal little machines, whose 
detonations would have shaken down all the 
walls, and caused the death of all our brave 
men. I learnt this fact from Doctor Joanneau, 
who belonged to the corps commanded by Ge- 
neral Laborde, and who inhabited the palace 
of Rostopchin during our stay at INIoscow. 

Happily all the large chimneys and stoves 
were examined, for the greater part of them 
were used for beds by the slaves of the Russian 

The preparatives for destruction were carried 


to such a point of perfection, that it was not 
until we had broken up the faggots, that we 
discovered the powder intended to set fire to 
the stoves which contained them. 

It was then natural to suppose that similar 
preparations were made at the Kremlin, the 
only siytable position for the Imperial head- 
quarters ; but after a very exact and minute 
inspection, we were satisfied that there no lon- 
ger remained any thing more of the kind, and 
that there was no danger. The Kremlin was 
a dull residence enough for a great sovereign : 
and perhaps Count Rostopchin flattered him- 
self that Napoleon would reside at his beautiful 
palace ; that was not the case, for on the report 
made by Count Segur and myself, the Em- 
peror determined on taking up his abpde at 
the Kremlin on the following morning. We 
returned thither at ten o'clock with the Em- 
peror's attendants, to instal them in their of- 
fices, and prepare every thing for Napoleon's 
reception. As we could not in any of these 
journeys carry with us our domestics and car- 
riages, Count Segur and I passed the night 
on chairs without undressing. We chose the 
apartment reserved for the Emperor, which 
had neither blinds nor curtains. I mention 


these little particulars because they are con- 
nected with my recital. With such an uncom- 
fortable bed, my repose, in spite of the fatigues 
of the day, was disturbed and much broken. 
Between twelve and one I perceived very pow- 
erful lights, though at a great distance ; I ap- 
proached the window, and I distinctly saw the 
flames rising from every point which the si- 
tuation of the Kremlin allowed me to behold. 
The distance at which these fires developed 
themselves, and their regularity of distance from 
each other, completely destroyed the idea which 
would have led me to attribute them to those 
plunderers who are the scandal and the mis- 
fortune of the best disciplined armies. I attri- 
buted them to the desperate rage of some sa- 
vage Muscovites, driven to excess by the pre- 
sence of their conquerors ; besides, I judged 
that our marauders vv^ould have no occasion to 
go to the extremities of so vast a capital for the 
exercise of their robberies, a capital with wliich 
they were iniacquainted, and which it might be 
dangerous to travel through at such an hour ; 
in addition to tliis, all the army was encamped 
in the suburbs, and it was not until the follow- 
ing morning that regular orders were given for 
the occupation of the different parts of tlie 
town for quarters. The conflagration of Mos- 


COW ought not then to be attributed to the 
French army, which never at any time marked 
its conquests by unnecessary disasters. I reject 
so frightful a celebrity, and leave the glory 
of it to those who merit it. Barbarians, only 
half civilized, conceived, prepared, commanded, 
and executed the plan, and even then they paid 
a sort of homage to the French character, by 
carrying with them all the engines which we 
might have used to extinguish the flames. 

MOSCOW. 299 


Moscow and the Kremlin. — Progress of the fire. — Napoleon 
leaves the Kremlin and goes to Petrowski. — Two days 
after, he returns to the Kremlin. — Private concerts at the 
Kremlin. — Truce. — Breaking of the Truce. — The Em- 
peror wishes to pass the winter at INIoscow. 

We had no idea of the magnificence and im- 
mense extent of Moscow. Concealed in the 
northern regions, it was little known by Eu- 
rope, but its population amounted to 300,000 
souls. If the spacious grounds which are form- 
ed into gardens attached to the numerous 
palaces of Moscow, were built over in the same 
manner as Paris is, this town, such as it was 
when we entered it, could easily contain a mil- 
lion of inhabitants. The architecture of the pa- 
lace, which the flames continued to envelope, 
was a mixture of the Italian, French, and Ori- 
ental styles. The palace PascofF among others, 
situated opposite the Kremlin, tlie exterior 


walls of which had not been injured by the 
fire, presented a combination of all the known 
orders of architecture ; it was crowned by ba- 
lustrades after the Italian fashion, mixed with 
stands bearing statues of white marble, which, 
placed alone on the most elevated parts, in the 
midst of ashes and ruins, appeared like accus- 
ing witnesses. The variety of decorations, al- 
though carried too far, still produced an agree- 
able effect. 

The Kremlin is not a palace : it is, properly 
speaking, a harmless citadel built on a very 
high eminence, on the borders of the Moscowa. 
It contains fine establishments, great barracks, 
a superb arsenal, magnificent churches, and a 
paltry habitation for a sovereign so powerful 
as the Autocrat of all the Russias ; a thin wall 
with battlements, is its military defence. A 
stone bridge thrown across the river, leads to a 
fortified door, placed in the angle of a large 
piece of ground, which serves for a public 
square and not for a court to the palace ; at 
the end, and quite at the back of this square, 
to the left, is a great staircase in the open air, 
without ornament or decoration, very long, 
and quite straight, called the red staircase, 
which conducts to a large common-place 
terrace, level with the apartments destined 
for the residence of the Czars. These apart- 


ments consist of three great rooms, a state 
bed-room ; and a large hall on one of the 
sides, called the Czar's hall. The kitchens, 
and the stables, are placed underneath the 
terrace and the palace. The exterior of this 
palace is extremely mean and irregular. There 
is not a nobleman at JMoscow that is not better 
lodged than the Emperor. After ascending 
the red staircase I have mentioned, when you 
arrive on the terrace, you see on the left 
the palace of Peter the First, built when the 
art was yet in its infancy, long since desert- 
ed ; and which we left to the subalterns, not- 
withstanding the frieze with its ornaments in 
relievo, was still brilliant with gilding. The 
arsenal, a modern building, commenced in the 
reign of Peter the Great, and since finished by 
his successors, situated in the square, almost in 
sight of the palace, is decorated in a manner 
analogous to its use. Immense bronze mortars 
mark its limits, and two gigantic cannons, plant- 
ed upright at each side of the principal door, 
form a very remarkable kind of column. The 
great church of Yvan, with its Grecian crosses, 
its chains, and its gilded domes, had a very 
beautiful effect when lighted by the sun. 

From two to three hundred incendiaries 
were taken in the flagrant act, and delivered 


up to a military commission. They were prin- 
cipally slaves, prisoners liberated by stealth, and 
people of the lowest class. In their ophiion the 
conflagration was not sufficiently rapid ; so they 
lighted through the windows of the houses, 
the inflammable substances which had been 
prepared in them. These wretched creatures 
would have done quite as well had they trusted 
for success to the north-east wind which blew 
with violence two days after our arrival, instead 
of exposing themselves to the danger of which 
they were the victims. So quickly did the fire 
communicate from house to house, that in one 
morning. Count de Turenne and myself, who al- 
ways travelled together, were obliged to change 
our abode three times: we had hardly esta- 
blished ourselves, when the fire drove us out. 
Generally the fire broke out, at the top of 
the house : the flames and sparks, fanned by 
the wind, heated and set fire to the roofs, 
for the most part covered with iron. The 
fire reached the rafters and timber on which 
these coverings were placed, so that there no 
longer remained any means of preservation ; it 
was absolutely necessary to fly from this burn- 
ing stream, which destroyed and consumed 
every thing. At length, we fixed ourselves at 
a house opposite the Kremlin, which alone re- 
mained entire in the midst of those which sur- 


rounded it ; our horses were well lodged, and 
we were now tolerably well accommodated : 
our servants, as usual, paid a visit to the cellars. 
They dug up some bottles, and brought them 
into a kind of kitchen, in the presence of Count 
de Turenne and myself. His valet-de-chambre 
was the taster. There were several bottles 
exactly like each other ; they were of the same 
shape, filled with liquid of the same colour, 
and corked with the same kind of cork. The 
manner in which the Count's valet tasted the 
contents of the different bottles, was by pour- 
ing a little of the liquid into his hand, which 
he did without the least precaution. In the 
midst of this operation, he screamed out loudly, 
spit back the liquid which he had just put into 
his mouth, and made horrible faces. It was aqua 
Jbrtis ; the poor fellow's hand and mouth were 
dreadfully burned. This occurrence had at all 
events the advantage of teaching our people 
more prudence. Count de Turenne and I took 
our meals at the palace ; we were consequently 
strangers to the pranks of our valets. I only 
mention this circumstance to give some idea 
of the various modes of destruction prepared 
for us. 

At the end of three days, the progi'ess of the 
fire, which had had time to kindle, became so 


violent, that it reached the enclosure of the 
Kremlin : it even attained the arsenal, which 
was particularly watched, and filled with am- 

The sappers belonging to the guard got the 
fire under. But , as so dangerous an accident 
might occur again, it was thought prudent to 
remove, in order to give the flames time to de- 
stroy all that yet remained unconsumed. The 
Emperor determined on leaving this place. 
The Quarter-master-general received an order 
to encamp round Petrowskoy, a kind of Turk- 
ish pavilion belonging to the Emperor of Rus- 
sia, situated two leagues from Moscow, on the 
banks of the river Moscowa, and which did not 
even contain a chair to sit on. On our way 
thither, we were obliged to pass through streets 
which were burning, and pouring forth torrents 
of flames and smoke blown by the wind. We 
were compelled to have guides in order to tra- 
vel through Moscow with some little safety, 
as one is obliged at sea to take pilots, to avoid 
the rocks of a dangerous and unknown coast. 
Never did I behold any thing grander than 
the dreadful sight presented to my view by this 
immense curtain of flames, agitated by the 
wind, and by the glare of which we could 
read that night at Petrowskoy, without any 


other light. As the most cool and deliberate 
consideration had presided at the distribution 
of so many modes of destruction, brimstone, 
bitumen, spirits of wine, brandy, &c. &c., va- 
ried the shades and colours of the flames ac- 
cording to the nature of the combustible mat- 
ter which they met with. If by an unfortu- 
nate coincidence, the inundation of the Baltic, 
which overflowed the town of Petersburg some 
years afterwards, had happened during our stay 
at Moscow, a thing not at all impossible, the 
destruction of these two great Russian capitals, 
the one by water, and the other by fire, would 
have been the most serious event in the ca- 
lendar of the world, and would have produced 
a prodigious effect on a people naturally su- 

We passed two days at Petrowskoy, after 
which the danger being over, Napoleon re- 
turned to the Kremlin. We found our ha- 
bitation in the state we had left it, and re- 
established ourselves there with perfect confi- 

As there was no distribution of forage, I sent 
two of my people, with a company of cavalry 
and several horses, to bring wliat was requisite 
for several days; scarcely had they gone two 



leagues, when, while busily engaged in col- 
lecting some hay, a multitude of Cossacks fired 
at them, with tremendous hurrahs. My ser- 
vants, who were of as peaceable a temper as 
myself, immediately fled, galloping away as 
fast as they could, without the provender, and 
leaving behind them in their flight the horses 
which they had taken with them for the pur- 
pose of carrying the stores. 

After the peace of Tilsit, which had facili- 
tated the intercourse between France and 
Russia, there existed at Moscow a company of 
French actors under the direction of Madame 
Bursay, a woman between forty -five and fifty, 
of a firm and courageous character, and pos- 
sessed of much good sense. The Russians, on 
leaving their capital, were not at all anxious, 
as we have already seen, concerning the fate of 
their unfortunate countrymen. Sacrificing as 
they did their own wounded, it was to be 
expected that they would equally neglect fo- 
reigners ; but as this indifference, so easily to 
be explained, was not confined to contempt, 
our poor actors were first robbed by the Rus- 
sians who fled, and then by ovu' soldiers who 
arrived, and who gave themselves but little 
concern as to the nation they belonged to. 


The fire crowned their misfortune. I men- 
tioned them to the Emperor during his break- 
fast. He ordered that they should receive in- 
stant assistance, named a person to superintend 
their concerns, and desired me to inform my- 
self whether it would be possible, in the pre- 
sent state of the company, to get up some 
plays for the amusement of the army cantoned 
in INIoscow. I began without loss of time to 
procure them dresses and a place to act in. 
The military authorities had collected in the 
mosque of Yvan all that had been saved from 
the flames; and, thanks to the politeness of 
Count Dumas, Intendant-general of the army, 
I fovmd in this mosque di-esses of all kinds. 
The French actors took from thence dresses 
and coats made of velvet, which they cut to 
the proper size, and ornamented with large 
borders of gold lace, of which there was a 
great abundance in the magazines. They were 
really very splendidly attired ; but such was 
their distress, that some of the actresses under 
these fine dresses had hardly the necessary li- 
nen ; at least, so Madame Bursay informed me. 
I discovered a pretty little tlieatre in the ho- 
tel Posniakoff not in the least injured by the 
flames. This private theatre, which was a 
little smaller than that of Madame at Paris, 

V <^ 


was beautifully decorated, and furnished with 
every thing necessary. I took possession of 
it, and did every thing in my power to ren- 
der the execution as perfect as possible. The 
theatre was opened with " Les Jeux de 1' Amour 
et du Hazard ;" followed by " L'amant, Au- 
teur et Valet." This opening was splendid: 
there was no cabal either in the theatre, Avhich 
was filled w^th mihtary, or on the stage, w^here 
there existed no rivahy of interests, or self- 
love. The pit was filled with soldiers, and the 
two tiers of boxes were occupied by the of- 
ficers of all departments. The orchestra w^as 
excellent, and consisted of the bands' musi- 
cians. The only expense was a trifling sum 
given at the door, which was divided among 
the actors after deducting for the lights. 
During our stay eleven representations took 
place. The same pieces were given several 
times ; among others, " Le Distrait," which 
part was very well played by ^I. Adnet, 
a first-rate comedian. " Les Trois Sultanes," 
had gi'eat success, as had also " Le Procu- 
reur Arbitre," &c. c^c. There was several times 
a kind of ballet performed by the Misses 
L'admiral. It was a regular Russian step, 
not as we see it performed at the opera 
at Paris, but as it is danced in Russia. The 


grace of this pantomime consists principally in 
the play of the shoulders, the head, and the 
whole body. 

Napoleon never attended these representa- 
tions ; I had found for him a recreation more 
suitable to his taste. Among the foreigners 
established for some years at Moscow, who had 
escaped the disasters of the invasion and con- 
flagration, I discovered a skilful singer, named 
Signor Tarquinio, the same person who some 
time ago acquired such a brilliant reputation 
in the parts of the famous Crescentini. He 
had resided in Moscow for two years, where 
he taught singing. Madame Bursay recom- 
mended M. Martini as an excellent accom- 
panist. He was son to Vincent Martini, the 
celebrated composer of La Cosa Rara^ of 
UArhore cli Diana, (Sec. The talents of these 
two persons afforded some amusement to Na- 
poleon when he retired from the important 
affairs which occupied his attention. The 
forming, in so short a time, from among the 
ruin of all kinds which environed us a concert 
at the court, and a theatre in the town, was 
rather a curious circumstance. 

I read in a German newspaper, that at the 
time of which I am speaking, the Emperor 
Alexander "had sent his brother Constantine 


on a mission into Moscow, and that a Russian 
general had insinuated that he had lost his 
way, and that, in order to regain the right 
path he must, instead of continuing his route 
to the south-east, direct his steps to the north- 
west, the same distance he had already gone :" 
this article ended thus : " If his brother Con- 
stantine had persisted in the object of his 
journey, one of those accidents, not quite un- 
known in the history of Russia, might have 
happened to Alexander." 

If this fact be true, and if I be not mis- 
taken, it is natural to believe that the Empe- 
ror Alexander had a momentary inclination to 
enter into a negotiation for peace; but the 
opinion of his generals obliged him to con- 
tinue the war. This journey of the Grand- 
duke Constantine coincided with that of Ge- 
neral Count Lauriston, who was sent to the 
Russian head-quarters in the beginning of Oc- 
tober : the only result of this visit was a truce 
of a few days, and some foolish conferences 
which meant nothing serious. One of the con- 
ditions of this short truce was, that each party 
should give three hours' notice before com- 
ing to battle ; the reply to the propositions of 
Count Lauriston was a sudden irruption, with- 
out any previous warning, of a body of the 


Russian army and a multitude of Cossacks, 
who, on the 17th of October attacked the ca- 
vahy of the front guard, commanded by the 
King of Naples. In this skirmish we lost a 
great number of excellent officers, and a train 
of twelve pieces of artillery, which were but 
ill-guarded, because we relied on the treaty. 
Among the wounded was Charles de Beauvau, 
a young man of great promise, distinguished for 
a most amiable character. His horse fell down 
in the engagement, wlien a villanous Cossack 
broke his thigh with a single stroke ; he was 
fortunately rescued and carried to the Empe- 
ror's head-quarters, who gave orders that he 
should receive all the care and attention which 
his situation required. 

M. de Berenger, aide-de-camp to the King 
of Naples, brought these sad tidings to the 
Kremlin. Napoleon, without being alarmed, 
was nevertheless much agitated the whole morn- 
ing, and continued so until he gave his last 
orders for the departure of the army, which was 
to take place the very same night. He opened 
our room-door every moment, asked first for 
one person, and then for another, spoke with 
rapidity, and could not remain a minute in one 
place ; he had scarcely seated liimself at the 
breakfast-table, before he left it ; in short, he 


was SO overwhelmed by his ideas, and plans 
that I could easily see, he had that day become 
aware of all the fatal consequences arising from 
so long a residence at Moscow. He had been 
informed of the signature of peace between 
Russia and Turkey, which left at the disposal 
of the first power a numerous army. He had 
heard of the peace between England and Rus- 
sia, and also of the pacific interview which took 
place at Abo, in Finland, between the Emperor 
Alexander and Bernadotte ; he counted little on 
the assistance of Austria, the auxiliary army of 
which country advanced but slowly ; and he 
could not conceal from himself that the Prus- 
sians would withdraw their aid as soon as a 
favourable opportunity should present itself. 
On all sides he foresaw nothing but danger and 

Our preparations for departure were very soon 
finished. The army quitted Moscow on the 
19th of October, at two in the afternoon. At 
the time of our departure, Napoleon had reco- 
vered his usual tranquillity ; he was calm and 
confident, and continued so throughout our 

The Emperor at one time intended to pass 


the winter at ^loscow : we had there collected 
a large quantity of all kinds of provisions, which 
augmented daily by the discoveries the soldiers 
made in the cellars of the houses which were 
burned. By a precaution easily to be under- 
stood, the Russians, on leaving the place, had 
walled up the doors, after having there depo- 
sited all their valuables, to preserve them from 
the flames, which they well knew were to be 
lighted after their departure. In these cellars 
we found a collection of various articles; 
flour, pianos, hay, clocks, wine, dresses, fur- 
niture made of acacia wood, brandy, arms, 
cachemeres, books elegantly bound, furs of all 
kinds and values, &c. &c. The churches were 
filled with them. A^apoleon had so great an 
idea of passing the winter at INIoscow, that he 
asked me one day at breakfast, to make a list 
of the actors at the French theatre, who I 
thought would be able to come to Moscow, 
without putting the company at Paris to in- 



Summary view of the retreat as far as Wilna. 

I am going to offer some summary obser- 
vations, to which I attach no importance, be- 
cause they are without pretension, and relate 
only to my own manner of seeing and judging. 

The Emperor, during our stay at Moscow, 
frequently read Voltaire's History of Charles 
XII. This book was constantly on his desk, 
and even on his dressing-table. 

Some days before our departure, the large 
cross of Yvan, which crowned the golden pin- 
nacles of the great church, was taken down. 
Vast companies of rooks, collected on the 
domes despoiled of their ornaments, seemed 
by their croaking to mourn their loss and pro- 
claim the premature severity of the winter. 
This presage was but too true. 


This cross was carried away because the 
Russians regarded it as the palladium which 
protected their empire. Napoleon intended to 
consecrate it as a trophy in the metropolis of 
Paris. If I have been rightly informed, this 
Grecian cross was thrown into the Beresina, 
together with other valuable but cumbersome 

We left JNIoscow reduced to a tenth of its 
inhabitants by the conflagration, kindled by 
the Russians themselves. This reduction is 
proved by the report made by the surveying 
engineers of the French army. 

Orders were given by the Emperor himself 
for tlie removal of our sick and wounded ; and 
they were carried into effect. 

On the 19th of October, the day on which 
we quitted the ruins of Moscow, the weather 
was very fine. 

The ephemeral fortifications of the Kremlin 
were slightly injured. This measure, purely 
formal, was adopted in order to leave evi- 
dence of tlie long residence of the army in 
that place. Tlie Russian army, commanded by 
Prince Kutusoff, was beaten at Malo-.Jarosla- 
wetz, and driven back towards Kalouga ; a 
glorious victory for the viceroy's army, and 
which enabled us to gain so much ground in 


our retreat, that it was easy for us to remain 
four whole days at Smolensko without being 
annoyed by the enemy. 

On our arrival at this last town, the con- 
tinued severity of the cold had destroyed near- 
ly half the materiel of the army, and nearly a 
third of the soldiers. Among those who re- 
mained, many had lost all strength and cou- 
rage, being completely overcome by suffering 
and want ; but the great mass was still brave 
and full of spirit. I do not speak of the ge- 
nerals, nor of the officers of all ranks. They 
were Frenchmen. Having said this, all eulo- 
gium is unnecessary. 

From Smolensko, particularly after the but- 
chery of Krasnoi, the army marched in dread- 
ful confusion : all the ranks and companies 
were mixed, and, generally speaking, destitute 
of arms. They left on the roads the carcases 
of horses whose bleeding remains they had dis- 
puted with birds of prey, whole waggons, car- 
riages half burnt, pieces of artillery of all sizes, 
which it was impossible to carry with them, 
equipages without number, coaches, open car- 
riages of all descriptions, filled with the wound- 
ed and dying, who sunk under this weight of 
misery, destitute of provisions, and suffering 


from an intense cold which hourly continued 
to increase. 

Can these be termed triumphs ? Were the 
brilliant stratagems of the enemy the means of 
causing these dreadful misfortunes ? No ; their 
glory consisted in gathering together those im- 
mense wrecks which cold and hunger com- 
pelled us to leave in the snow. If they made 
some of us prisoners, it was from among men 
who were separated, disarmed, exhausted, and 
frozen, and whom the sword of the Cossack 
struck without pity, because they were de- 
fenceless, and scattered in search of nourish- 
ment, which, after all, was not to be found in 
these frightful deserts. 

Tlie name alone of these Cossacks, even when 
none were present, created a sudden and invo- 
luntary terror. I have seen more than 20,000 
men, seized with fear, fly lielter-skelter at 
the cry of a coward — " There are the Cos- 
sacks!" I have seen them, filled with alarm, 
interrupt the calm and tranquil march of 4,000 
warriors of the Imperial Guard, who still bear- 
ing their arms, marched steadily on without 
troubling themselves to inquire whether the 
sun still existed, and who with the consecrated 
squadron, composed of the vaHant officers of 


the army, commanded by Count de Grouchi, 
represented the honour, courage, and devotion 
of the different companies which no longer ex- 
isted. Let glory be for ever given to this noble 
band ! 

From Smolensko to Wilna, the Guard had 
no other nourishment than some grains of 
wheat or barley, which were roasted on a stone 
at the fire of the bivouac, and their drink con- 
sisted of the snow which they dissolved at the 
same fire. Never did they utter a complaint, 
or a reproach, but were always faithful and 

The deliberation, prudence, and wariness of 
the enemy, can only be explained by the magi- 
cal influence which the name alone of Napoleon 
and his guard produced. The Russians, who 
had so often felt his power, imagined that he 
possessed great resources, and it was the homage 
which they paid to his genius that saved us. 

However it is but just, in considering so many 
events, to place in the balance the great losses 
which the Russian army must have necessarily 
experienced. We are mistaken if we suppose 
that the inhabitants of these icy regions are not 
equally affected with ourselves by the severity 
of the climate. It is only by the greatest pre- 
cautions that they preserve and defend them- 


selves from its effects. The only advantage 
the Russians had over us, and this advantage 
was certainly a very great one, consisted in the 
facility with which they procured provisions 
for their men and horses. However their mode 
of supply was so slow, that we may conclude 
they themselves experienced great privations. 

Had we been in the place of the Russians, I 
am firmly convinced that no person would have 
passed the Beresina. All, without exception, 
would have been condemned to submit to the 
most humiliating capitulations. Nay more, 
this passage being effected, it would have suf- 
ficed to have sent in advance of the retiring 
army some men with faggots and torches to set 
fire to and destroy in an instant those innumera- 
ble little wooden bridges, which form a causeway 
nearly four leagues long from the Beresina to 
Zembin ; this having been done, the army weak 
and powerless, enclosed in impassable marshes 
in the midst of immense forests, covered with 
flakes of ice and snow, without provisions, 
would have been farced to pass under the fur- 
culce caudincB. Admiral Tchitchagoff had only 
paid attention to the road from Borisoff to 
Minsk, because he imagined that the Emperor 
intended to open a way towards tliat town 
where we had extensive magazines, and where 


we should have been nearer to the auxiliary 
corps of Austria. Fortunately he neglected to 
occupy the road to Zembin. 

It was not for the Russians to sing Te 
Deums. This was our part . . . not for victo- 
ries gained . . . but for their extremely cour- 
teous pursuit of us. 

I arrived in Paris on the evening of the 30th 

THE emperor's eevee. 321 


New preparations for defence. — The Archbishop of Nantes at 

the levee. — Concordat of the 23rd of January Laws of 

the State for a Council of Regency. — Recall of Count Otto. 
— Count Louis de Narbonne despatched to Vienna. — The 
Empress's oath on being made Regent. — Prince Schwartz- 
enberg and Count Bubna at Paris. — Departure for JMay- 
ence. — Napoleon's conversation at Mayence concerning 
the Concordat, and his opinion on the government of the 

January, 1813. 
Two days after my return from Moscow, I 
was at the Emperor's levee. I had not seen 
him since we were at Zembin. When he came 
near the rank in which I was, he asked me 
many questions as to the time and manner in 
which I left the army, and said, smiling bitterly, 
that I was probably the only one who had not 
grown thin in that long retreat. 



A part of the month of January was em- 
ployed in making grand preparations for de- 
fence ; in ordering new levies, forming fresh 
armies, receiving and rendering available the 
innumerable offers of service sent in by the 
army ; and, in short, in collecting a sufficiently 
large force to stop the invasion of the Russians, 
whose forces, since the defection of General 
York, had been augmented by the Prussian 
army. This political change had robbed us of 
.30,000 men, and added that number to the 
ranks of the enemy. The Imperial Guard was, 
as if by magic, reorganized and completed by 
the Duke of Frioul. 

On the 19th of January, the Bishop of 
Nantes (M. Devoisin), for whom Napoleon en- 
tertained a particular esteem, and whom he 
employed as a mediator in the different discus- 
sions which took place between the Pope and 
him, remained with the Emperor after the 
levee. The interview lasted two hours. When 
this prelate left the palace, he went to Fontaine- 
bleau ; Napoleon, according to his intention de- 
clared the evening before, entered his carriage 
with the Empress, in a hunting dress ; his atten- 
dants were dressed in the same manner. He 
hunted in the park of Grosbois, and break- 


fasted with tlie Prince of Neufcliatel. When 
he oot into his carriage again, he gave orders to 
drive to Fontainebleau. No one expected this, 
not even the Empress. It was afterwards 
known, that before leaving the Tuileries, the 
Emperor had secretly given the necessary or- 
ders for himself and the Empress ; but the 
otlier travellers, not being at all aware of this in- 
tended journey, were, as may be easily imagined, 
much perplexed as to their cloathes, &c. Couriers 
were despatched to Paris, but it was not possi- 
ble for the indispensable articles to arrive until 
the follo^ving day. 

The enemies of Napoleon have strangely ca- 
lumniated the circumstances of this interview 
with the Pope ; they have accused him of ill- 
treating the Holy Father;— nothing can be more 
untrue. That Prince paid him all the homage 
which he owed him ; his plans and proposals 
were those of a man who respected himself ; be- 
sides, the important points were regulated and 
agreed upon beforehand; there remained only tri- 
fling matters, which were easily settled, and pos- 
sessed but little interest. Insults and outrages, 
therefore, must have been quite unprovoked. 
This last concordat was settled and signed on 
the 23rd of January, such as it was published on 
the 27th of February following. It was sign- 

V ^ 


ed by the Pope freely and without constraint, 
in the presence of the cardinals who were at 
Fontainebleau. On this occasion there were 
exchanges of congratulations, rejoicings, distri- 
butions of favours and courtesies, holy relics, 
sanctified chaplets, crosses, decorations, snuff- 
boxes enriched with diamonds, &c. &c. In a 
w^ord, this treaty of peace was accompanied by 
all the marks of reciprocal satisfaction. This is 
the real fact, exactly as it was related to me by 
witnesses worthy of credit, who were present 
with the Emperor the whole six days he passed 
at Fontainebleau. I was not of his suite during 
that week. 

Caution was excited by the conspiracy of 
Mallet, and a wise foresight recommended the 
institution of a regency. The bases presented 
to the senate were adopted as the fundamental 
laws of the Empire. 

Our military misfortunes, in spite of the ex- 
pressions of good-will, and the conditions sti- 
pulated for in the treaty of the 15th of JNIarch, 
1812, which had in view the perpetuation of 
friendship and good understanding, &c. created 
suddenly and without reason such a coldness 
in the Austrian cabinet, that Napoleon deter- 
mined to recall his ambassador Count Otto, 
and replace him by Count Louis de Narbonne, 


who, besides urbanity, the most exquisite of 
all the French graces, possessed great plia- 
bility and acuteness of mind. I do not mean 
to say that Count Otto had not as much 
merit as the Count de Narbonne ; his manners, 
his politeness, and his great knowledge of affairs, 
were certainly distinguished : T only mean to 
remark, that the Count de Narbonne was agree- 
able and clever in another way, and had a 
mode of doing things which belonged to him- 
self alone. Besides, it was w^ise to use those 
means which might have the most influence in 
maintainhig amicable relations, and the Count 
de Narbonne might be more suited to nego- 
tiate with INI. de Metternich, the sovereign 
minister of Austria, than Count Otto. 

At the end of the month of Marcli, Napo- 
leon appointed Maria Louisa regent, and de- 
signated the exalted personages who were to 
compose her council. This proclamation was 
made in the palace de TElijsce, the doors of the 
cabinet being open, in the presence of Queen 
Hortensia, the Queen of Westphalia, the ladies 
of honour of the palace, and the officers of their 
Majesties' household, among whom I was. 
After the reading of these state-papers, and the 
Empress's oath, we were desired to retire ; and 


the council, with closed doors, sat an hour 

In return for the Count Louis de Narbonne, 
Austria sent to Paris the Prince of Schwartz- 
enberg and the Count de Bubna : the first of 
these always held the office of Austrian Am- 
bassador at the French court; the arrival of 
the second was, in my opinion, an indication of 
the greatest difficulties. Under a simple and 
common-place appearance, he was certainly the 
most skilful and consummate diplomatist in 
the cabinet of Vienna. All these clandestine 
negotiations led to nothing. Far from placing 
at the Emperor's disposal the auxiliary body of 
30,000 men, which had been promised by the 
treaty of the 15th of March 1812, Austria en- 
deavoured to impose conditions, and to show 
herself encroaching. This auxiliary body did 
not appear again in our lines, until the moment 
when, by the most strange desertion, without 
any excuse, or any other pretext than ancient 
animosity, Austria appeared among our ene- 
mies, to overturn the throne of him, who had 
three several times permitted the reigning house 
to regain theirs, and to whom she had just allied 
herself by the most intimate and sacred ties. 


I left Paris on the 8th of April, with a part 
of the household, to await the Emperor's arrival 
at Mayence. He quitted St. Cloud on the 
15th, and arrived at JNIayence on the l6th, at 
twelve at night. He remained there eight 
days, that the army might have time to form 
and distribute the new reinforcements which 
he had directed to march upon Erfurt ; during 
his stay, he received a visit from the Grand- 
duke and Duchess of Baden, the Prince Pri- 
mate, the Princes of Nassau, &c. &c. On the 
22nd, the Emperor dined with Marshal Kel- 
lermann only. AMiat I heard Napoleon say 
appeared so remarkable, that I immediately 
made a memorandum of it. They were talk- 
ing of the last Concordat, signed the 23rd of 
January, at Fontainebleau. 

" Would you believe," said the Emperor, 
" that the Pope, after having signed this Con- 
cordat freely, and of his own accord, wrote 
me word eight days afterwards, that he was 
very sorry he had signed it, that his conscience 
reproached him for having done so, and that 
he earnestly entreated me to consider the whole 
affair as null and void, &c. &c. ? I replied, 
that what he re([uired was contrary to the in- 
terests of France ; besides, that as lie was in- 


fallible, he could not be mistaken, and that 
his conscience was too quickly alarmed,'' &c. 

The Marshal laughed heartily. A moment 
after. Napoleon continued, without taking 
much notice of the effect his words produced, 
and apparently giving way to the overflowing 
of his ideas : — 

" In truth, what was Rome formerly, and 
what is she now? Broken up by the impe- 
rious consequences of the Revolution, could 
she regain and maintain her power? In the 
political world, a bad government has succeed- 
ed the old Roman legislation, which, though 
not perfect, was calculated to form great men 
of all kinds. Modern Rome has applied to 
the political, principles which might be proper 
and becoming in the religious Avorld, and has 
given them an extension fatal to the people's 
happiness. Thus, charity is the most perfect 
of all the Christian virtues. We must, there- 
fore, bestow our charity on all who ask it. 
This is the kind of reasoning which has ren- 
dered Rome the receptacle of the dregs of all 
nations. You will there find collected, I am 
told, (for I have never been there,) idlers from 
all parts of the world, who flock thither for 
refuge, confident of finding plenty of food 
and abundant alms. Thus the Papal terri- 


tory, which was intended by nature to pro- 
duce immense riches, not only from its beau- 
tiful climate, and the many rivers by which 
it is watered, but still more from the excel- 
lence of the soil, languishes for want of cul- 
tivation. Berthier has often told me that you 
pass through whole countries without perceiv- 
ing any marks of human labour. Even the 
women, who are considered the most beauti- 
ful in Italy, are indolent in this part of the 
country, and their minds are indifferent to 
the usual cares and employments of life ; 
there is the effeminacy of Asiatic maimers. 
Modern Rome is content with the preserva- 
tion of a certain pre-eminence conferred by 
the wonders of art which her city contains. 
But we have a little weakened this distinction. 
The jNIuseum is enriched with all the master- 
pieces of which she was so proud; and very 
soon the fine edifice of the Exchange, which 
is building at Paris, will excel all those of 
Europe, both ancient and modern. France 
before all ! To return to the political world — 
what would the present Papal government be 
by the side of the great kingdoms of Europe ? 
A succession of paltry old sovereigns, who at- 
tain tlie pontifical throne at an age when re- 
pose is the only thing to be desired. At this 


stasre of life all is routine, all is habit; they 
think only of enjoying their grandeur, and of 
imparting some of its advantages to their fa- 
mily. When a pope arrives at the sovereign 
power, his mind must be cramped by a long- 
course of intrigue, and by the fear of making 
powerful enemies, who may in the end revenge 
themselves on his family ; for his successor is 
always unknown. In short, he thinks only 
of livhig and dying quietly. For one Six- 
tus v., how many popes have there not been 
who engaged only in the most unimportant 
affairs, as uninteresting to the true spirit of re- 
ligion as they were calculated to inspire con- 
tempt for such a government; — but this would 
lead us too far." 

The Marshal replied, laughing, that it was 
much to be desired, that one of the statutes 
for the election of a pope should decree that 
the youngest cardinal was of right to be in- 
stalled in the pontifical throne. 

" I should like your idea well enough," re- 
plied Napoleon, laughing, " if too great energy 
in the character of a sovereign did not carry 
with it considerations of another kind. The 
only advantage that I should see in it would 
be the suppression of that political seraglio, 
commonly called the Conclave. I do not mean 


harem; seraglio in the Oriental language means 
palace." So saying, Napoleon left the table. 

The Emperor quitted Mayence on the 24th 
of INIay, and arrived at Erfurt at eleven o'clock 
in the evening. The Count de Turenne and 
myself received an order to remain in the for- 
mer town, and not to join his Majesty until he 
should have reached Dresden. 



Battle of Lutzen. — Personal bravery of the King of Prussia. 
— Conversation with Duroc at Dresden. — Death of the 
Duke de Frioul. — Property of the crown. — Survey of 
France ; its population in 1813. — Armistice at Dresden. 

Return of the Emperor.— Fouche despatched to Illyria. 

French play at Dresden. — Remarkable changes in 

Napoleon's taste.— IMademoiselle Mars at the Emperor's 

The battle of Lutzen was gained princi- 
pally by the young conscripts. The intrepid 
Ney said to the Emperor, " Sire, give me some 
of tliose young and valiant conscripts. I will 
lead them whither you please. Our old war- 
riors know as much as Ave do ; they judge of 
positions and difficulties ; but these brave 
youths are afraid of nothing, they foresee no 
obstacle, they look neither to the right nor the 
left, but always forward. It is glory that 
they seek." 

This victory of Lutzen, which enabled the 
Emperor to resume the offensive, proved tlie 


personal bravery of the King of Prussia. This 
Prince fought valiantly at the head of his 
regiment of guards, and was dragged, in spite 
of himself, far from the ground which he could 
no longer dispute. 

Saxony was reconquered, and its venerable 
monarch, who had taken refuge on the fron- 
tiers of Bohemia, entered his capital. 

The Count de Turenne and I, received or- 
ders to join the head-qviarters. 

We arrived at Dresden on the 16th of May. 
The next morning I conversed with the Duke 
de Frioul on the success of the commencement 
of the campaign, and we paid a just tribute of 
regret to the memory of INIarshal Bessieres. 1 
shaD never forget tlie last words of this conver- 
sation : *' We have had rather too much of 
this," said he, " we shall all be carried off." 

Some days after this, he was mortally wound- 
ed by a random shot, as the Duke of Istria 
had been. He lived some hours, carrying with 
him the consolation of having witnessed the 
profound grief of Napoleon, who would not 
leave him until he earnestly entreated him to 
do so. 

1 place among the greatest losses that Napo- 
leon could sustain, the death of the Grand- 


marshal Duke de Frioiil. He was scarcely 
forty years old when he met his death. He 
was well-made, and his figure was not inele- 
gant, his complexion was fresh and florid. His 
physiognomy was grave, austere, even revolt- 
ing when he listened to a person whom he 
disliked, but gentle and agreeable in a con- 
trary situation. In general, he was a great 
observer, because he was cold and serious. He 
had naturally a strong sense of propriety, and 
firmly opposed any thing he thought likely to 
violate it. Discretion and firmness were tlie 
first traits in his character. He had established 
tlie arrangements of his service, on a fixed, 
positive, and invariable plan. Reserved with 
regard to the advantages of his situation, his 
personal qualities, and his immense influence, 
he was never induced by them to show the 
least pride or vanity : he lived only to prove 
liis entire devotion. The most minute as well 
as the most important details of the civil 
and military administration of the palace 
were famihar to him ; his work was alwavs 
clear, always easy. A rigid observer of the rules 
which he had induced the Emperor to adopt, 
he exacted the same observance from others, 
and never passed over negligence or idleness. 
He loved the arts, and honoured talent; and 


although he might, without fear, have abandon- 
ed hunself to his wise and enlightened taste, he 
was guided only by the connexion which the 
productions of genius might have with the 
glory of the Emperor. The entrance to his 
apartments, though generally difficult, was never 
so to celebrated men who might contribute to 
the splendour of Napoleon's reign. No one un- 
derstood more thoroughly the tastes and charac- 
ter of that Prince, nor exercised over him a 
more marked and continued influence. What 
is most remarkable is, that the Emperor was 
himself aware of this influence, and did not en- 
deavour to shake it off: The excellent judg- 
ment and sagacity of the Duke de Frioul, al- 
ways prevented him from opposing at the in- 
stant the first emotions of Napoleon, sometimes 
too precipitate. A few hours after he averted 
their consequences. His constant object was 
to preserve useful and devoted subjects; he 
wished to make the Emperor beloved, and that 
he should command the affection of the public. 
Perhaps he disdained too much the establish- 
ing of a title, on his own account, to the grati- 
tude of those whom he obliged, if I may so ex- 
press it, against his inclination; and who were 
often ignorant of the person to whom they 
were indebted. One tlung certain is, tliat Na- 


poleon had no secrets for him, though he had 
for all the world besides, even for the Prince of 
Neufchatel. Duroc was Napoleon's conscience ; 
lie laid before him all his motives for discon- 
tent, like a pleader who is anxious to obtain 
the good opinion of his judge. This state of 
things did equal honour to both. After our 

return to JNIoscow, General L , governor of 

the palace of St. Cloud, who during this memo- 
rable campaign commanded the province of 
Konigsberg, and whose division had been of so 
little service, on the approach to Wilna, pre- 
sented himself before the Emperor, who 
thought he had to reproach him with the most 
serious offences. His indignation was so great, 
that he ordered him to send in to the Grand 
IMarshal, the very same day, his resignation of 
the governorship of Meridon and St. Cloud, 
and also commanded him never again to appear 
before him. He would listen to no explana- 
tion, and passed into the gardens of the Palace 
de lElysee, in which he then resided. He lite- 
rally ran through them for an hour, talking the 
whole time with the greatest vehemence. The 
Grand Marshal followed him, listened to what 
he said, and remained silent. Napoleon then 
came and sat down in a little arbour, where his 
breakfast had been prepared, according to his 


orders. During breakfast he still continued to 

desire that General L should be removed 

from his situation. " Do you hear me ?" said 
he to the Duke; "this very day." — " Yes, 
Sire," were the only words spoken in reply by 
the Grand Marshal, in whose eyes I read the 
hope of changing the Emperor's determination. 
This affair was settled in the course of the 
evening. All idea of dismissing the General 
was abandoned ; but the Grand INIarshal ad- 
vised him to keep out of sight for some time. 
.The morning scene had had too many wit- 

At this period of 1813, the moveable pro- 
perty of the crown was carried to the full 
complement ; it was valued at thirty millions. 
All the Imperial palaces were repaired and fur- 

There had been spent the preceding year, in 
buildings at the Louvre, twenty-one millions, 
and in the purchase of houses which were to be 
pulled down, seven millions. 

Two millions five hundred thousand francs 
had been expended in the purchase of land, 
for the building of the Palace of the King of 

VOL. II. z 


Five millions two hundred thousand francs 
for the Palace of Versailles. 

Ten millions eight hundred thousand francs 
for buildings, re-establishments, embellishments, 
forming new gardens at St. Cloud, Trianon, Ram- 
bouillet, Stupinitz, Laken, Strasburg, Rome, &c. 

Ten millions six hundred thousand francs at 
Fontainebleau and Compiegne. 

Two millions four hundred and fifty thou- 
sand francs for the first works of the new ma- 
chine at Marly. 

The diamonds of the crown, which had been 
pledged, were recovered and increased, and an 
addition of thirty millions of pictures, statues, 
works of art, specimens of antiquity, &c. was 
made to the museum ; in the whole, one hun- 
dred and sixteen millions eight hundred and 
fifty thousand francs were expended by the 
civil list, and the domaine extraordinaire, with- 
out the imposition of any new taxes. At this 
period, France contained forty-two millions 
seven hundred and thirty-eight thousand three 
hundred and seventy-seven inhabitants. Her 
superficies was seventy-five millions nine hun- 
dred and fifty-seven thousand three hundred 
and one hectares, reckoning all the new de- 


While Napoleon drove back the Russians and 
Prussians in Silesia, a malignant brain fever 
confined me to my bed at Dresden, where 
I remained with a part of the Imperial marine, 
and the general administration of the army. 

1 owe my recovery from this dangerous ma- 
lady to the judicious and affectionate attentions 
of M. Desgenettes, and M. Jouanneau the pre- 
sent surgeon to the Hospital of Invalids, who 
-has ever since been numbered among my 
friends. The armistice was signed, and the 
Emperor returned to Dresden on the 10th of 
June. I was recovering slowly, and I gave 
orders for my journey to the Palace of Mar- 
colini, where Napoleon had established his resi- 
dence in the suburb of Fredericstadt. I found 
in the antiroom the Duke of Otranto (Fouche), 
who had been sent for by Napoleon. The doors 
of the Emperor's chamber opened for General 
Guoesdorff, first Aid-de-camp of the King of 
Saxony, to go out. Napoleon, perceiving me, 
had the condescension to call me to him. He 
spoke for a long time on the dreadful loss he 
had lately sustained in the death of the Duke 
de Frioul. In general, the grief of this Prince 
was transient, for he had but little time to 
indulge the emotions of his heart ; but this 
misfortune appeared to have left a deep im- 

z 2 


pression. I informed him that the Duke of 
Otranto waited his orders. . . .He asked me the 
pubhc opinion on the arrival of such a person 
at the head-quarters. ... I rephed that it was 
generally thought he had summoned him mere- 
ly for the purpose of employing him in the 
negotiations of the Congress about to be opened 
at Prague. ..." Good !" said he, " Foviche is no 
diplomatist." I added, that another opinion, in 
which I participated, was, that he had sent for 
him to Dresden, in order to oppose him to the 
cunning of Baron Stein, who filled Germany with 
spies and pamphlets. " Good, too !" said the 
Emperor, smiling. After a moment's silence 
he added, " Fouche is not a fit man to be left 
at Paris in the present state of things." Some 
minutes afterwards he asked me if I was not 
the person he had charged with the superinten- 
dence of the French theatre at Moscow. I an- 
swered in the affirmative. " Well, then," said 
he, " Turenne and you will superintend the 
French company of actors whom I have or- 
dered to come here during the armistice ; in- 
form Caulincourt, whom I have provisionally 
invested with the office of grand marshal. Tell 
the Duke of Otranto to come in." I went to- 
wards the Duke of A^icenza, and informed him 
of the orders I had just received. I was still 


conversing with him, when the Duke of 
Otranto left the Emperor's apartment, and, 
coming to us, told us that he was appointed 
governor-general of lUyria in place of General 
Bertrand, who was to command one of the 
bodies of the active army. Fouche did not 
appear much pleased with his new post. 

Napoleon had one defect, which arose from 
the kindness of his nature. He knew not how 
to detach himself from those who had held the 
highest places in his confidence and govern- 
ment. In the first moment of a just resent- 
ment, he thought that he ought to break with 
them altogether ; but this feeling over, he en- 
deavoured to compensate the loss of his favour 
and even of his esteem, by concessions of ano- 
ther kind, when in his power, and especially 
when the objects of his resentment had done 
him real services. Fouche had almost always 
been necessary on account of his great know- 
ledge of the manners, principles, wishes, and 
interests of the various factions who had at- 
tempted to shake the coiuitry. He had always 
mixed in them, as a judge and a spectator, and, 
it has been said, as an accomplice also. Napo- 
leon too often forgot that the head of a new dy- 
nasty ought, according to circumstances, to load 


with favours the man who is devoted to him, or 
overwhelm with contempt the one who proves 
himself unworthy of confidence. He did not 
bear in mind, that, according to the views of 
sound policy, there exists no medium between 
power and weakness. Temporizing measures 
and precautions are but a feeble plastering 
which the slightest blow destroys. Names and 
examples would not be wanting, were it neces- 
sary to prove my assertion. 

Never did two superintendents agree better , 
than the Count de Turenne and myself. He 
undertook the invitations, and all that related 
to the etiquette and convenience of the persons 
admitted, &c. &c. ; the establishment, the build- 
ing of the theatre, lodging the actors, keeping 
the repertory, theatrical performances, and all 
the paraphernalia belonging to them, formed a 
part of my duties. 

On the 19th of June, the actors from the 
French theatre arrived, and found every thing 
prepared for their reception. I had hired suit- 
able houses with all the necessary furniture ; 
carriages, servants, &c. were at their disposal ; 
in short, we endeavoured to anticipate their 
taste, and to comply with their habits and wishes 


in order to render their residence in a foreign 
country as agreeable as possible. It was but 
just to think of the comfort of those who came 
so far, in order by their great talents, and the 
remarkable politeness of their manners and be- 
haviour, to contribute to the amusement and 
pleasure of a French army condemned to in- 

A theatre was built in the orangery of the 
Marcolini palace, which communicated with the 
apartments, and which would hold two hundred 
persons. Thanks to the complaisance of Count 
Wistum, marshal of the Saxon court, and to 
that of Count Loo, chamberlain and intendant 
of the property of the crown, these indispensa- 
ble preliminaries were quickly finished. While 
the French actors were preparing for their de~ 
but, the Italian company belonging to the King 
performed three times in this little theatre. 

The first French representation took place on 
the 22nd of June. The performances were 
" La Gageure imprevue," and the " Suite d'un 
Bal Masqu^" of Madame Bawr. 

xVs the little theatre was but ill adapted for 
the representation of tragedies, these perfor- 
mances were enacted at the great theatre of 
the town. The only admissions on these occa- 
sions were tickets distributed by the Count 


de Tiirenne ; no money was taken. The Em- 
peror's footmen waited on the company in the 
boxes, and presented refreshments. 

A remarkable change took place in Napo- 
leon's taste, who until this time had always pre- 
ferred tragedy. Men, in general, experience 
this effect of life,. In the age of youth and pas- 
sion, the master-pieces of the tragic scene trans- 
port us into a fancied and unknown world. In 
this world, every thing, even down to the lan- 
guage and dress, speaks heroically to our soul 
and senses. It is the time of illusions which 
subdue and ravish us. Later in life the ima- 
gination becomes calm ; we feel the necessity of 
drawing near to nature and society as it really 
exists in the world ; the just delineation of 
manners and characters is now infinitely more 
interesting. Certainly the admirable talents 
of Mdlle. Mars, Fleury, &c. were well calcu- 
lated to produce this change in Napoleon's 
taste. But to speak from my own observa- 
tions, the reason I have just given appears to me 
much more probable. I chose the time of the 
Emperor's breakfast, to show him the list of 
the pieces which were prepared for acting. He 
generally ordered me to read the names aloud, 
and then fixed on those he liked. One day. 


speaking of " L'Intrigue Epistolaire," he asked 
me if that piece was not by Fabre d'Eglan- 
tine. Tlie Prince of Neufchatel, who break- 
fasted with him, immediately replied in the 
affirmative, and began talking of the *' Philinte 
de Moliere," by the same author. The Em- 
peror delivered on this latter comedy a most 
remarkable opinion. " He had seen it played 
several times in his youth, and he had always 
thought the style barbarous and strange for the 
eighteenth centuiy." During the discussion on 
this piece, he said, ^ixiong other things, that 
*' he had often endeavoured to guess, though 
he had never been able to do so, what had in- 
duced the author to call his play the ' Philinte 
de Moliere,' whom he did not resemble more 
than any other character in any other play. 
The true ' Philinte de Moliere,' " continued 
he, " is not certainly like the misanthrope 
Alceste, a Don Quixote of virtue and philan- 
thropy. He does not think it necessary to quar- 
rel with every one he meets for trifles ; he is 
sufficiently acquainted with the incurable weak- 
nesses of men, to know that candour ill-placed, 
or uncalled for, may do much mischief by un- 
necessarily irritating the passions : in short, he is 
a sensible, reasonable man, w.ell bred and inca- 
pable of the slightest action or discourse, wliich 


would offend morality, or violate delicacy. The 
Phillnte of Fabre, on the contrary, is a most 
despicable character, who openly shows him- 
self capable of committing the most odious 
actions from interested motives, and who is 
as unworthy of being the husband of her he 
loved, as the friend of the misanthrope Akeste. 
As to the plot, it is altogether contemptible. 
What banker, capitalist, or receiver-general, 
woidd lose a note of six-thousand francs from 
his coffer, without perceiving it ? And then 
there is an attorney who confesses his roguery 
at the very first word from Alceste. It must 
be allowed, that there is neither invention nor 
execution in all this ; and the language in 
which it is written is extremely prosy. The 
admirable playing of Mole was the only thing 
which gave me pleasure. But I do not regret 
its not being in the list, for I have not the 
slightest desire to see it acted again. 

" As to the ' Intrigue Epistolaire,' the super- 
intendent, who has been listening to our con- 
versation, may order its representation at the 
great theatre. Perhaps this imbroglio may give 
some pleasure to the court of Saxony." 

T mentioned at the commencement of these 
memoirs, that the Emperor had sometimes con- 


descended to admit Talma during his break- 
fast. Mademoiselle JNIars was equally honoured 
during our residence at Dresden. Amono- the 
many questions Napoleon put to her was one 
concerning her dehut. " Sire," replied she with 
a grace peculiar to herself, " I was very little 
when I began. I crept in without being per- 
ceived." " AVithout being perceived !" said 
the Emperor : " you are much mistaken — you 
surely mean to say, that you gained the public 
admiration by degrees. As for myself, Made- 
moiselle, believe me, I have always with the 
whole of France appreciated your distinguish- 
ed talents." 



Affair of M. Carion de Nisas.— Congress at Prague.— De- 
cisive audience of M. de Metternich at Dresden. — Condi- 
tions proposed by Austria; refusal to sign them. — The 
Emperor leaves Dresden. 

During our residence at Dresden, an event 
occurred to which my friendship for M. de 
Nisas did not suffer me to remain indifferent. 
This superior officer had been sent on a mis- 
sion, an hour after the Emperor's return to 
Dresden after the signing of the armistice. 

The orders he received from the Major-ge- 
neral were to set off immediately for Gera, 
there to await the arrival of the infantry, 
cavalry, and artillery troops, on their way to 
Dresden, and to form a column of three hun- 
dred infantry, six hundred cavalry, and three 
pieces of cannon. The instructions ordered 
him to let the other troops pass on when he 
should have formed his column. 

This order was really nothing more than a 


measure of precaution with regard to the bo- 
dies of Prussian partisans who were suddenly- 
enclosed in our positions, determined by the 
armistice, and who would continue to act 
against the rear of the army on the side of 
Plawen, under the specious pretext that tliey 
were ignorant of this armistice. Among the 
number of these wandering bodies, was that of 
Colonel Lutzow, one of their most enterprising 
commanders, whose forces might be computed 
at 3000 men, principally cavalry. M. de Ni- 
sas's column was evidently not intended to act 
alone. It was to support the movements of 
the great body of our troops, commanded by 
General Castex, one of our bravest warriors. 
M. de Nisas had even been enjoined to await 
the orders of that general. 

It was my friend's misfortune to arrive at 
Gera at the same time as a detachment of the 
Guard charged with escorting a convoy of 
flour. They, being on their march to Dresden, 
were necessarily comprised in the number of 
troops, of which he was to form his column 
and take the command. The dislike, I may 
say the repugnance, of privileged bodies to 
obey officers who are not their legitimate com- 
manders, is well enough known. The officer 
who commanded this detachment, insisted that 


the Guard was an exception, and not included 
among the otlier troops ; besides which, it was 
placed in a peculiar situation, from the necessity 
it was under of escorting the convoy. M. de 
Nisas denied this, and the dispute lasted all 
the morning. 

During this time it was discovered that Co- 
lonel Lutzow had come quietly and alone to 
Gc^ra. Some military men had a parley with 
him. After some conversation, this Prussian 
Colonel was taken to the house of JVI. de Nisas, 
who was advised to profit by this opportunity 
to arrest the Colonel, and to send him bound 
hand and foot to Dresden, leaving for future 
discussion the legality of this proceeding. It 
was imagined that in the absence of their chief, 
it would be easy to disorganise this body of 
partisans, carry off his chest and baggage, 
&c, &c. 

Certainly nothing would have been more easy 
than to seize on a man free from suspicion. 
This action would doubtless have contributed 
to the advancement of JM. de Nisas ; but for 
the two last days, Lutzow had ceased all hos- 
tilities, had put himself under the protection of 
the armistice; and had opened a communication 
with the commissioner of the King of Saxony, 
by sending back to Gera two gendarmes, taken 


prisoners by his men since the armistice. In 
consequence of this, he demanded a safe con- 
duct to cross our army, and arrive safely at the 
quarters which the Prussian generals had as- 
signed him beyond the Elbe. His presence 
unattended at Gera, which was occupied by our 
troops, was a sufficient pledge for the good faith 
of Colonel Lutzow. 

JM. de Nisas imagined, with good reason, that 
this Colonel, claiming as he did the fulfilment 
of the armistice, was not to be considered in a 
state of open hostility. Therefore, far from ar- 
resting him, he gave him the safe conduct ne- 
cessary for the arrival of himself and corps at 
his destined quarters, they having laid aside 
their arms, and all show of hostility. However 
this safe conduct could not preserve the Colonel. 
Secure in the regularity of his conduct, he en- 
camped during the night at Kitzen, near Leip- 
zick, when he was suddenly attacked by General 
Fournier. His chest and baggage were plun- 
dered ; the remains of his corps continued 
fighting till they arrived on the banks of the 
Elbe; and lie himself owed his safety to the 
swiftness of his horse. 

Great com])laints were made of this noble 
moderation of Colonel de Nisas, to whom the 
people were not at all obliged for the respect lie 


paid to the law of nations. These complaints 
quickly reached the head-quarters ; and when 
Nisas arrived at Dresden to give an account of 
this fatal mission, which the officer of the 
Guard's refusal to obey would at all events have 
rendered useless, he was put under arrest. The 
Count de Turenne and myself, who were his 
particular friends, went to see him, and, after 
listening to all the details of the affair, we ap- 
plied to the Prince of Neufchatel, who loved 
and esteemed M. de Nisas. This prince asked 
and obtained for him an audience with the 

This interview took place in the garden, in 
the presence of the Duke of Dalmatia. But 
prejudice was already strongly excited against 
him. Napoleon's attachment to that fine Guard, 
which constituted one of the firmest supports 
of his military power, prevailed over every 
other consideration. This prince did not wish 
to be impartial, although at the bottom of his 
heart he must have felt, that had he been in 
Nisas's place he would have acted in the same 
manner. He would not admit of any justi- 
fication founded on the refusal to obey, pre- 
tending that that would be calumniating the 
Guard. In vain did the accused desire to be 
tried by a court-martial. He was deprived of 


his rank by an absolute decree, which did not 
state a single reason ; and what aggravated the 
severity of the measure, was a command which 
accompanied it, not to approach nearer Paris 
than a hundred leagues. 

During this long interview I was placed at 
one of the windows of the palace which over- 
looked the garden. I followed both with my 
heart and eyes all Napoleon's movements, and 
I experienced a painful sensation on seeing his 
expressive and variable countenance full of re- 
proach whenever M. de Nisas endeavoured to 
justify himself, with all the earnestness of a 
man who feels his honour attacked. IMore 
than once I saw Marshal Soult pull the flap 
of his coat, as if to check the warmth of his 
feelings, which could only injure him ; but 
Nisas would not own that he was in the 
wrong, and the Emperor would not yield the 
point. It must be said, to the praise of the 
Duke of Dalmatia, that, although one of the 
colonels-general of the Guard, he did not take 
the part of tlie officer who served under his 
orders, and that he said not one word in con- 
demnation of M. de Nisas. Some time after- 
wards, the heat of passion over. Napoleon 
would himself have been able to interpret this 
eloquent silence ; but important affairs oc- 

VOL. II. 2 A 


cupied him, and he had no longer his good 
genius by his side. Certainly, if the Duke de 
Frioul had been living, if pitiless Death, who 
cut down around the Emperor the most faith- 
ful of his subjects, had spared this worthy 
counsellor of Napoleon's glory, he would have 
laid before him all the claims presented by the 
public life of M. de Nisas. 

When there was a debate on M. Cure^'s pro- 
position for raising the First Consul to the 
imperial purple, and Carnot opposed it with 
apparent success, it was M. de Nisas, who, 
wishing to deliver France from the shackles 
of a republic which had become odious, rushed 
to the rostrum, and made that brilliant extem- 
pore speech, which called forth unanimous ap- 
probation. Educated in the just theories of 
a constitutional monarchy, he always showed 
himself the enlightened defender of the crown's 
prerogatives. It was he, also, who, in the 
same rostrum, recalled the idea of a religious 
and political divorce, a proposition, then vague 
and general, which attracted attention, and 
which, again brought forward some time after- 
wards, was executed at the end of 1809. Fi- 
nally, it was M. de Nisas, who, seeing the 
Chamber closed against his talents and his 
eloquence, joined the ranks of our brave men. 


and served with honourable distinction in the 
Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, and German 

On this deprivation of rank, M. de Nisas en- 
tered as a volunteer in the 20th regiment of 
dragoons, and served in the battles of Dresden, 
Leipzick, Augustusbourg, Hanau, (so glorious 
for General Drouot,) Holstein, Colmar, Saint- 
Dizier, Brienne, Montereau, &c. 

It is thus that a man of spirit and ability- 
revenges a suspicion, and does not compromise 
his honour. Colonel Desargus, Lamotte, gene- 
ral of brigade, L'Heritier, general of division, 
and General INIilhaud, commander-in-chief of 
this body of cavalry, were the witnesses and 
judges of this noble conduct. To complete 
his military re-estabhshment, which M. de Nisas 
owed entirely to himself, Marshal Soult, when 
he became INIinister of War, restored him to 
his rank of adjutant-commandant, and ordered 
the restoration of his appointments. 

When danger is over, when, after a bloody 
war, arms are laid aside, and the warriors repose 
in peace ; then, when the impartial voice of 
truth is heard, it is curious and instructive to 
compare the opinions of the two conflicting 
parties, to explain and combine the actions and 
circumstances which have, in a greater or less 

2 A 2 


degree, influenced military events; then in- 
flexible history, with the greatest accuracy and 
justice, assigns to each his share of blame or 
praise. M. de Lutzow, complaining bitterly of 
General Fournier, and loudly commending the 
loyalty of M. de Nisas, has rendered extremely 
easy the task of the historian, who thinks this 
little narrative worthy of a place in the recital 
of the great and memorable campaigns of the 

M. de Nisas's opinion on the divorce (which 
established in an indirect manner the possibility 
of a divorce on the throne, although opposed 
to divorce in general) recalls to my mind, that 
he was included, in 1805, in the grand deputa- 
tion of the tribunal sent to congratulate the 
Emperor on the splendid triumphs which sig- 
nalized the commencement of the campaign of 
Austerlitz. This deputation, composed of the 
most distinguished members, received orders to 
remain at Strasburg with the Empress Jose- 
phine. I saw with sorrow the awkward situa- 
tion of my friend, and the embarrassment it 
occasioned him. The interpretations given to 
the exceptionable part of the opinion I have 
been speaking of, imposed on him so painful a 
reserve toward the Empress Josephine, that he 
did not dare show himself, but remained always 


behind the twenty-four members of the depu- 
tation. I ventured to plead his cause, well as- 
sured that on appealing to the heart of Jose- 
phine I should obtain complete success. I was 
not mistaken : at the very next audience, she 
broke through all the ranks, and restored her 
favour to M. de Nisas in the most pleasing 
manner, forgetting that he had unintentionally 
wounded her affection and self-love. I could 
not pass over in silence an action which does so 
much honour to that princess. 

The Congress at Prague was a mere diplo- 
matic show. The real discussions took place at 
Dresden, whither the Prince of Metternich 
and the Count de Bubna repaired. I am quite 
ignorant of what passed in the ministerial con- 
ferences ; I only know that the last, the most 
important, and the most decisive, took place at 
the palace, between the Emperor and the Prince 
of INIetternich, in the presence of the Prince 
of Neufchatel and tlie Duke of Bassano. This 
conference lasted seven hours, and during 
this long space of time the King of Saxony 
and the King of Naples awaited its result either 
in the anteroom or in the garden. On quit- 
ting this audience, M. de Metternich appeared 
angry. He waited in silence at the palace-gate 


until the Emperor, who left the apartment at 
the same moment as hhnself, had mounted his 
horse. I was placed accidentally close to the 
Prince, from the expression of whose counte- 
nance I endeavoured to gain some information, 
when he, having known me a long time, seized 
my hand, as it were, mechanically, pressed it 
violcntlv, and even retained it for some mi- 
nutes without uttering a single word. This 
dumb and almost convulsive adieu distressed 
me, and appeared to hint the fate of the em- 
pire. M. de Metternich set off the same 
night with the Count de Bubna, who forgot 
to take with him his wife, who had accom- 
panied him to Dresden. 

A person, on whom I can place the greatest 
reliance as to the state of aiFairs, assured me, 
that the demands of Austria were : — 

I. To restrain France within its natural 
boundaries of the Rhine. 

II. To make Italy a kingdom independent 
of France. 

III. To renounce the protection of the Con- 
federation of the Rhine, the supreme medi- 
ation of Helvetia, &c. &c. 

On one occasion, I have been told, Napo- 
leon took his pen to sign these conditions, 
but he laid it down, saying ; " What Austria 


requires of me, is sufficiently important to be 
disputed by force of arms." 

A few days after the audience of INI. de 
Metternich, the Emperor left Dresden to visit 
the fortified places on the Elbe, and then pro- 
ceeded to INIayence, where he had appointed to 
meet Maria Louisa. 

General Durosnel, aid-de-camp to the Em- 
peror and Governor of Dresden, took advantage 
of the leisure afforded by the absence of Napo- 
leon, to give a delightful fete to the French 
company of actors. Baptiste the younger, 
without departing from good taste and polite- 
ness, contributed greatly to the evening's enter- 
tainment, where he presented himself under 
the title of my Lord Bristol, on his way to the 
Congress of Prague. Some persons of the 
court of Saxony were completely imposed 

I remained some days at Dresden, and after- 
wards proceeded to Wisbaden, the waters of 
which place were prescribed for the recovery of 
my healtli, which I had much neglected. I then 
set out for Languedoc, whither I was called by 
my own private affairs, and returned to Paris 
on the 19th of January, 1814. 



Campaign of France. — Congress at Chatillon. — Courageous 
conduct of the Duke of Vicenza. — Council of Regency ; 
the determination to quit Paris on the 29th of March. — 
Observations on this order. — What passed at the Council 
of Regency on the 28th The Empress Maria Louisa du- 
ring the Regency. — Departure from Paris. — The King of 
Rome refuses to leave the palace. — Arrival at Rambouillet. 

The Emperor had been at Paris a few days. 
At this period, Napoleon appeared melancholy, 
but firm and resolute. I learnt, that not meet- 
ing with that confidence and support from the 
legislative body, which he had a right to expect, 
he had been much hurt. A short time after- 
wards he left Paris to place himself at the head 
of his faithful and valiant army, and thus com- 
bat singly all the armies of Europe. History 
will record this campaign around Paris as the 
most bold and skilful one ever made. 

On the 28th of March, at one o'clock in the 
afternoon, the Duchess of Montebello did me 


the honour to write me word that the Empress 
would leave Paris the following morning, at 
six o'clock, and that her Majesty had named 
me as a part of the suite who were to accom- 
pany her in her journey. I received the same 
information from Prince Aldobrandini, head- 
groom. I went to the palace in the evening 
in order to learn the objects and direction of 
the intended journey. I waited there until 
midnight to hear the issue of a council of 
Regency, which lasted some hours. On the 
breaking up of this council, the Empress told 
us, that the departure from Paris was deter- 
mined on, and that she should set off at nine 
o'clock in the morning for Rambouillet. 

The Regent's position was a most extraordi- 
nary one ; history does not contain a parallel to 
it. The beloved daughter of the Emperor of 
Austria, one of whose generals was the gene- 
ralissimo of the combined armies, she had for 
herself and her cause all possible securities for 
the preservation of the capital. JMarried to Na- 
poleon by her father's order, a dutiful daughter, 
a faithful wife, and a glorious mother, she 
could present herself pure and spotless before 
the most subtle and scrupulous politician ; she 
could, without disgrace, accept terms of capitu- 
lation, always honourable in such a situation, 


and even sign a peace, to which the enemy 
would have the more readily consented, be- 
cause, astonished themselves at their successes, 
they had not as yet come to any settled opi- 
nion as to the new conditions which it was 
their interest to impose on the French govern- 

" The allied sovereigns," said the Prince of 
Schwartzenberg (in his declaration before Paris, 
on the 31st of March), " seek with earnestness 
and sincerity a salutary authority in France, 
which may cement the union of all nations and 
governments. It belongs to the town of Paris, 
in the present circumstances, to accelerate the 
peace of the world. Its decision is expected 
with the interest which so important an object 
ought to inspire. Let it but pronounce the 
word, and from that moment the army which 
is before her walls will support and maintain its 

This proclamation is the most severe com- 
ment on the decision of the council of Regen- 
cy. I received some minute particulars con- 
cerning this Regency. 

The only, the real, the important question, 
was to decide whether the Government should 
leave Paris or not. All the reasons for and 
against this measure were deliberately discuss- 


ed. The majority advised a continuance at 
Paris. Only the Princes Joseph and Camba- 
ceres, with two other persons, counselled the de- 
parture. A second discussion was opened on 
the same question. The result was the same ; 
when the Empress Josephine took a letter of 
the Emperor's from her portfolio, which had 
been written more than a month ago, and in 
which he said : — 

" If the communications should be intercept- 
ed by the course of war, he wished that the 
person of the Empress, and that of his son, 
should not be exposed." 

The reading of this letter suddenly overcame 
all opposition. The Council regarded obedi- 
ence as their duty, and decided for the de- 

In the councils of the Regency, the Empress 
Maria Louisa, who took no interest in grave 
matters, and who, above all, had a great mistrust 
of her own abilities, always followed the advice 
of those who counselled her. History would 
be very unjust towards her, if it accused her of 
having of her own accord abandoned her capi- 
tal when she ought to have remained in it. 
Maria Louisa had all the weaknesses of irood- 
nature, never decided any thing, and really, in 
affairs connected with the administration, had 


no other opinion than the one communicated 
to her by those persons whom she knew to be 
in the confidence of the Emperor. She carried 
with her the same good nature and kindness 
into social life ; but nevertheless it was easy to 
discover that she j)ossessed good natural sense, 
much knowledge without any ostentation, a 
noble and touching simplicity, and a gentle 
gaiety, corresponding with the expression of 
her countenance. She loved the arts, was an 
excellent musician, drew well, rode on horse- 
back with grace, spoke French perfectly, wrote 
it still better, and understood Italian and Eng- 
lish, &c. The union of so many valuable quali- 
fications produced a most delightful and inte- 
resting character. Had she been placed on a 
throne not agitated by political convulsions, she 
would have preserved the love and admiration 
of France, while she would have formed its 
happiness and ornament. 

On the 29th of March, I was from six in the 
morning at the Palace of the Tuileries. The 
courts were filled with equipages and waggons 
of all kinds. State carriages, even that of the 
coronation, the waggons of the treasury, plate, 
&c. occupied the whole space. At nine o'clock 
the various preparations were finished. The 


Empress, accompanied by her son, Mesdames 
Montesquiou, Montebello, Brignole, Castigli- 
one, &c. got into her carriage. When they re- 
quested the young and beautiful child to get 
in, he refused to do so, shed tears, and said that 
he would not leave the palace. I was near him, 
and saw the expression of his infantine passion. 
M. de Canisy, the groom, was obliged to assist 
Madame de Montesquiou in placing him, 
against his inclination, in the carriage. The 
instinct of this young prince spoke otherwise 
than the counsellors of the throne. 

What must have been the feelings of the 
inhabitants of this fine capital, when they be- 
ll eld the departure of this long cavalcade, ren- 
dered still more considerable by the coaches of 
the members of government, and various mi- 
nisterial chanceries, moving under the protec- 
tion of an escort of from a thousand to twelve 
hundred men, without artillery, and occupying 
nearly a league. A hundred Cossacks, and a 
gun charged with grajie-shot, would have been 
sufficient to throw us into the greatest disorder. 
Such were the melancholy reflections made by 
myself, Count Haussonville, M. de Cussi, and 
M. de Seyssel, with whom I journeyed. 

We arrived at the palace of Rambouillet at 
three o'clock in the afternoon. 



Character of the court. — King Joseph arrives in the evening 
of the 29th. — Order to leave Rambouillet. — Arrival at 
Blois — The Arch-chancellor Cambaceres. — Regency of 
Blois. — Proclamation of the Regency. — Joseph, Jerome, 
and Cambaceres visit Maria' Louisa to inform her that she 
must leave Blois. — Arrival of the Commissioners at Blois. — 
The Empress entrusts me with her despatches to the Em- 
perors of France and Austria. — Visit to Count Schou- 
walofF. — Notification of the armistice. 

Certainly, nothing could less resemble the 
journey of a court than this tumultuous retreat 
of persons and of luggage of all kinds. How- 
ever, once assembled in the palace of Rambou- 
illet, each endeavoured to conceal in the bottom 
of his heart the sad thoughts inspired by a po- 
sition so critical, and so capable of changing the 
consideration, the state, and the fortune of the 
individuals who formed the government and 
the court. 


The character of this flight was very remark- 
able. Every one was at his post, in his state 
uniform, determined to maintain his privileges. 
The most minute rules and the strictest eti- 
quette were observed with the greatest atten- 
tion, rendered still more jealous by the hope of 
preventing their dissolution. The things least 
talked of were the occurrences of the preceding 
day, and the events which might take place on 
the morrow. Nothing on these subjects be- 
trayed the secret thoughts and sentiments by 
which the whole party were affected. There 
was, however, one good trait in the manners of 
the court; it was the pure and disinterested 
care taken to conceal from the Empress the dis- 
tressing and fatal consequences of our leaving 
Paris, and the successive losses which must ne- 
cessarily affect, at some future period, the Impe- 
rial throne. The whole company closed in and 
formed around the Empress and her son — a cir- 
cle of persons animated by the most honourable 
and disinterested devotion. 

It had been settled tliat King Joseph should 
send couriers to inform the Empress of every 
thing which happened in the capital. This 
Prince, who the evening before had declared in 
a fine proclamation to the National Guard of 
Paris, that he would never quit the town, ar- 


rived at Rambouillet at full gallop, the very- 
same evening (29th), and orders were given to 
set out the following morning. 

We slept at Chartres on the 30th, and at 
Chateaudun on the 31st, at Vendome on the 
1st of April, and at Blois on the 2nd. 

The Arch-chancellor Cambac6res followed 
the Empress's carriages ; he was accompanied 
by some faithful friends, who would not leave 
him. His Highness's feet constantly rested on 
a beautiful large mahogany box placed inside 
his berlin, and which he always ordered to be 
carried before him when he alighted from his 
carriage, and when he repaired to the lodging 
prepared for him. Some evil-disposed persons 
say, that the prudent oracles and dilatory inspi- 
rations which guided the Arch-chancellor, when 
at the last council of Regency, held at Paris 
on the 28th, he insisted on leaving the capital, 
came from the bottom of this precious casket. 
For my own part, I always thought that this 
box contained the great seals of state. Be that 
as it may, these observations do not in the least 
detract from the great merit of the Arch-chan- 
cellor ; he was a most learned and skilful magi- 
strate, summing up the most varied discussions 
and the most arduous consultations with admi- 
rable facility and clearness. " If all the code 


were to be lost," said the Emperor, " it would 
be found in the head of Cambaceres." 

The Empress arrived at Blois on Saturday 
the 2d of April, at five in the evening. She 
alighted at the Prefect's hotel, surrounded by 
the city guard, the troops of the garrison, and 
a part of the Imperial guard who had either 
preceded or escorted her. 

Lodgings had been prepared for the Em- 
peror's mother, the Princes Joseph, Louis, Je- 
rome, for all the members of government, &c. 

At first the days were spent in councils of 
Regency, at which the Empress presided with 
great exactness. There no longer existed any 
hope of safety. The palace resembled head- 
quarters ; the ministers, booted and spurred, 
repaired thither without portfolios, as if they 
expected an order to mount their horses on the 
instant, and be ready to execute the commands 
given. Nevertheless, as diplomatic regulations 
are always rigorous, even in the most distress- 
ing situations, nothing transpired concerning 
the discussions which took place, perhaps be- 
cause under such circumstances there was no- 
thing to be said. 

The Duke de Rovigo, JNIinister of tlic Police, 
received a courier from the Emperor on the (ith 

VOL. IL 2 L 


of April. Among the despatches sent to him 
from Fontainebleau, was one addressed to me, 
which contained Spanish papers for me to trans- 
late. These documents related to the fetes and 
rejoicings which took place in Spain, when King 
Ferdinand was sent by the JNIarshal Duke of 
Albufera to the advanced posts of the Spanish 
army, commanded by Don Palafox, Captain- 
general of Arragon. These publications would 
have been but little flattering to Napoleon, and 
I thought it was useless to translate them. 
There was a manifesto of the Cortes to the 
Spanish nation, the preamble of which was 
filled with declamations the most virulent 
asfainst the French nation, but the most de- 
voted and flattering to Ferdinand VII. These 
strong demonstrations of attachment and fide- 
lity did not eventually preserve this Cortes, 
composed of every nation, from a downfall so 
violent, that they never rose again. The events 
in France, which continued increasing on all 
sides, enabled me to dispense with sending to 
the Emperor the translation of these abusive 
papers, from which he could have gained no 
advantage, either for his personal instruction, 
or the maintenance of an authority which the 
ingratitude of the senate had just deprived him 
of. Napoleon supposed that these papers might 


relate to the operations of the armies in the 
South of France. The simple explanation I 
gave the Duke of Rovigo was sufficient. But 
I was not the less struck by the constancy of 
Napoleon, which induced him, in the midst of 
the ruins which surrounded him, to extend so 
greatly his views and anxiety. Napoleon was 
eminently French. 

On the 7th of April, at the breaking up of a 
council, we were informed of a proclamation 
made in the name of the Empress Regent. 
" Frenchmen, 

" The events of the war have placed the capi- 
tal in the power of the enemy. 

" The Emperor, who has hastened to defend 
it, is at the head of his armies, which have so 
often been victorious : they are in sight of the 
enemy under the walls of Paris. 

" It is from the residence I have chosen, and 
from the Emperor's ministers, that you will re- 
ceive the only orders you can with loyalty 

" When a town is in the enemy's power, it 
ceases to be free; all instructions emanatinc; 
from that quarter, are the language of a stran- 
ger, and command that which it is liis interest 
to propagate. 

2 B 2 


" You will be faithful to your oaths of alle- 
giance, you will listen to the voice of a princess 
who was entrusted to your good faith and loy- 
alty, who places her glory in being French, and 
being linked with the destiny of the sovereign 
whom you freely chose. 

" My son was less secure of your hearts in 
the time of our prosperity. His rights and his 
person are under your protection. 

" Imperial Palace of Blois, April 7th, 1814. 

" (Signed) Maria Louisa." 

This proclamation produced no effect, nor 
indeed could it, because it was not supported 
by any military force. We must regard it as 
the discharge of a duty, useful in case of suc- 
cess, and unimportant in case of danger. It 
was the only public act which arose out of all 
the councils of the Regency, during its stay at 

On Good Friday, the 8th of April, I went to 
the Palace at eight o'clock in the morning, ac- 
cording to my custom, as well to attend to my 
duty as to learn the news from the head-quar- 
ters of the Emperor. I was informed that 
Princes Joseph, Jerome, and Cambac6res had 
arrived before me, and that they were in con- 


ference with the Empress. I endeavoured to 
guess what important business could have 
brought them to the palace at an hour which I 
knew was too early for the Empress, when one 
of her waiting women informed me that her 
Majesty desired to speak to me instantly. I 
was conducted into an apartment between the 
bed-room and sitting-room. Being informed 
that I waited her orders, she condescended to 
appear. I remarked that her countenance was 
more animated than usual, and that the calm 
and gentle tranquillity, generally visible in her 
features, was much changed. From the negli- 
gence of her toilette, I could easily see that she 
had risen in haste, on the arrival of her brothers- 
in-law, who requested to speak with her. 

" M. de Bausset," said her Majesty, " among 
the officers of the Emperor's household who 
are now here, you are my oldest acquaintance, 
since I have known you from the time of my 
marriage. I count on your devotion, and am 
going to inform you of what has taken place 
here. My brothers-in-law and the Arch-chan- 
cellor are there, in that apartment. They liave 
just told me that I must instantly leave Blois, 
and that, if I do not consent with a good grace, 
they will forcibly carry both myself and my 
son to our carriage." 


" May I ask what is your Majesty's own 
wish on the subject ?" 

" I would remain here until the arrival of 
letters from the Emperor," replied her Ma- 

" If such be your will, Madam, I dare as- 
sure your Majesty, that all the officers of your 
household, and those of your guard, will think 
with me, that we have only to attend to the 
orders which you may give. Will your Ma- 
jesty allow me to acquaint them with your 
wishes ?" 

" Go, I entreat you, and return and inform 
me of your success." 

On quitting the apartments of the Empress, 
the first persons I met were the Count d'Haus- 
sonville and General Cafarelli, aid-de-camp to 
the Emperor, charged with the military com- 
mand of the palace. Still affected by what 1 
had just heard, I immediately acquainted them 
with it. " This is not to be endured," said the 
Count d'Haussonville with great warmth, and 
he hastened towards the peristyle of the palace. 
He had scarcely reached it when he fell, but 
this did not prevent his calling loudly on all 
the officers of the guard, who were walking 
and conversing together in the palace-yard 
until breakfast-time. The impression was in- 


stantaneoiis. All agreed with us, and mani- 
fested the most earnest desire to go that very 
moment and lay at the Empress's feet the tri- 
bute of their fidelity and devotion. I entreat- 
ed them to give me a few minutes to acquaint 
the Empress with their feelings and determina- 
tions on the subject. I returned to her INIa- 
jesty's apartment, and requested a moment's 
audience: the Empress came to me instantly. 
1 informed her of what had passed, and pre- 
pared her for the animated manifestation of the 
sentiments of her whole household, which was 
about to take place. The Empress desired me 
to follow her into the apartment. I obeyed. 

*' JVl. de Bausset," said she, " repeat to the 
Princes what you have just told me." 

" I have had the honour to inform the Em- 
press, that tlie officers of her household, and 
those of her guard, having learnt that there 
was some idea of obliging her Majesty to leave 
Blois against her inclination, have declared that 
they will resist the measure, and yield obedi- 
ence to no orders but those given by her JNIa- 

" Repeat the exact words they made use 
of," said King Joseph : " it is necessary that we 
should know what kind of spirit animates 


" Those words would not be very pleasing," 
replied I ; " besides, the noise I hear in the 
adjoining apartment, will better inform your 
Majesty of the spirit which dictated them." 

1 had scarcely finished speaking, when the 
doors of the apartment were thrown open with 
violence, and all the officers eagerly and unani- 
mously declared the sentiments which I had 
just expressed in their name. 

" It will be better to remain, INIadame," said 
Prince Joseph, with inexpressible gentleness, 
as he turned towards the Empress : " the propo- 
sition I made to your Majesty appeared desir- 
able for your welfare; but since you think 
otherwise, I repeat it, you must remain." 

All was now restored to its accustomed or- 
der, and departure was no longer talked of. 

I have no personal opinion on a circumstance 
of this nature. INIany different motives have 
been attributed to the Princes, who probably 
flattered themselves that they should be able 
to prolong an unequal contest, or obtain more 
advantageous conditions. It is quite certain 
that none of us approved the resolution of 
quitting Paris, and that we dreaded the con- 
sequences of a second flight. We were en- 
closed on every side. Where could we go? 


Our downfal was inevitable. It became us, 
then, to meet it with dignity. 

The Empress in this event acted of her 
own accord, without consulting her council of 

Count SchouwalofF, aid-de-camp-general to 
the Emperor Alexander, and Baron Saint Aig- 
nan, arrived at Blois the same day at noon ; 
the first in the character of the commissioner 
of the Allied Powers, and the second as the 
commissioner of the French government: both, 
especially Count SchouwalofF, charged to pro- 
tect the Empress, who announced her inten- 
tion of going first to Orleans and then to Fon- 

These official measures justified the happy 
foresight of the Empress. 

Before dinner her Majesty sent for me. 

" Will you do me another service ?" en- 
quired this princess, with so touching a grace 
that I was quite penetrated. 

" Command me, IVIadame ; I am your de- 
voted servant." 

" Well, then, you will set out this evening 
for Paris. You will there find my father, the 
Emperor, and deliver to him a letter which 


I am going to write. This done, you will 
proceed to Fontainebleau with another letter 
for Napoleon. I hope to go there myself, for 
I ought to and will be near him. Make your 
arrangements, and return at eight in the even- 
ing to receive my despatches." 

I paid strict attention to the orders of the 
Empress, who herself delivered to me the two 
letters with which she condescended to entrust 
me. I then went to the house of Count Schou- 
walofF, with whom I had been much acquaint- 
ed at Erfurt during the conference of 1808. 
I found in his apartment a great number of 
persons who had brought their passports for 
examination on their return to Paris. It is 
proper to remark that the principal persons 
in the government considered their mission 
finished from the moment of the arrival of the 
Commissioner-general of the allied armies, and 
thought themselves at liberty to pursue their 
own private affairs. Count SchouwalofF re- 
collected me, and immediately came towards 
me. We talked in private, and I informed 
him of the mission I had just received, ask- 
ing him at the same time for a passport to 
Paris, and from thence to Fontainebleau, in 
order that I might there await the Empress's 
arrival. The Count then told me in a low 


tone, that the Empress was not going there, 
and that it was decided that she should go to 
Rambouillet when she quitted Orleans. 

I was going away, but had myself become 
an important personage. The attention shown 
me by Count Schouwaloff made those by 
whom he was surrounded, and who were ex- 
tremely anxious to know the state of affairs, 
very desirous of conversing with me. 

On the 8th of April, while I was en- 
deavouring to gain over the Count, there ap- 
peared before him an English colonel accom- 
panied by a French officer, who liad both been 
sent to the armies of JNIarshal Soult, the Duke 
of Dalmatia, and the Duke of Wellington to 
proclaim the armistice. These gentlemen set 
out the same evening to perform their honour- 
able mission, after having had their passports 



I return to Paris on the 9th of April. — Visit to Prince 
Schwartzenberg. — Arrival of Metternich and Lord Castle- 
reagh. — Conversation with the Prince de Metternich. — 
I deliver to him the Empress's letter to the Emperor of 
Austria. — Saloon of the Prince of Benevento. — Treaty of 
the Allied Powers with the Emperor. — My departure for 
Fontainebleau. — Audience of the Emperor ; his opinion of 
the departure from Paris, of the Congress at Chatillon, of 
the Duke of Tarento, of himself, of General Hullin. 

I LEFT Blois at eleven o'clock at night, after 
passing without the slightest obstacle through 
the enemy's troops, who surrounded the capital. 
I arrived at home at ten in the morning. I 
found the apartment which I occupied in the 
hotel Caumont, Rue de St. Grenelle^ Saint 
Germain, filled with seventeen Russians, officers 
as well as soldiers. I wrote word to Prince 
AVolkonski, Major-general of the Russian army, 
who knew me very well. Thanks to his kind- 


ness and the orders which he gave, I was put 
in full and free possession of my apartment the 
following Sunday at eight in the morning. 

In travelling through Paris during the night, 
I had met nothing but foreign patroles, and 
those which an indefatigable zeal, and a most 
courageous watchfulness, had induced the na- 
tional Parisian guard to send out. I was thus 
quite unable to form a just idea of the state 
of the capital. When I went out in the morn- 
ing to visit the Prince of Schwartzenberg, I 
found the whole population of the town in the 
streets, rushing towards the Place Louis XV. 
or the Boulevards, which were already crowded 
by the numerous bodies of troops whom the 
Emperor Alexander was going to review. It 
was with great difficulty that I passed through 
the lines of cavalry, and the trains of artillery ; 
at length I succeeded, and was received by the 
Prince Generalissimo. I asked him how I 
could get to see the Emperor of Austria, that 
I might perform the commission with which I 
was entrusted, when he informed me that his 
master was still at Troyes, and advised me to 
await at his house the arrival of M. de Metter- 
nich, whom he expected. He added, on leav- 
ing me to go to the grand parade, that I should 
receive from tlie Prince de Mctternich all the 


information I could possibly desire. I waited 
and conversed for some minutes with Count 
Clam, one of the Generalissimo's aid-de-camps. 
We had passed a month together in the Palace 
of Prague in 1812, and he had always behaved 
very kindly to me. In the present instance he 
was still more obliging, got my passport for 
Fontainebleau examined, and advised me to 
have the same formality performed by the Pro- 
visional Government, which was extremely par- 
ticular on this point. 

I heard the noise of a post-chaise ; I repaired 
to the entrance hall, and saw the Prince of 
Metternich and Lord Castlereagh, who was with 
him, alight. I was thus present when these 
two great enemies of the empire trod for the 
first time the soil of the capital. 

I very modestly took my place in a corner of 
Prince Schwartzenberg's apartment, when M. de 
Metternich, perceiving me, came to me and en- 
quired after the health of the Empress. After 
having answered all his questions, I told him 
my present commission, and requested him to 
assist me in obtaining an interview with the 
Emperor of Austria. " The Emperor," said he, 
" is still at Troyes. The steps which would be 
necessary for you to take in order to get near 
him, would only occupy much valuable time to 


no purpose. Give me the Empress's letter, for 
I am authorized to open all letters addressed to 
the Emperor of Austria." I answered that the 
orders 1 had received did not allow me to com- 
ply with his request, and that I was determined 
to abide by them. " You are much to blame," 
replied the Prince : " the ministers of the al- 
lied powers, and those of Napoleon, are to meet 
here to-night, to decide on the fate of the Im- 
perial family. Probably the Empress's letter 
might, if perused by the Emperor Alexander, 
have a salutary influence on his decision." As 
I did not think myself sufficiently authorized, 
and was unwilling to take upon myself the re- 
sponsibility I foresaw, I asked Prince Metter- 
nich's permission to go to the Duke of Vicenza, 
Napoleon's minister for foreign affairs, in order 
tliat I might act as he thought proper in this 
critical affair. JNI. de Caulaincourt lived in the 
Hue de Joubert, in the neighbourhood of 
Prince Schwartzenberp'. I was so fortunate 
as to find liim at home, and he authorized me 
to deliver the Empress's letter to Prince Met- 
temich. After this prince had unsealed and 
read the letter, he told me that he felt assured 
it would produce the best effects. He desired 
me to return at eleven o'clock at night, that he 
miglit inform me of the decision of the diplo- 


matic conference which was to take place in 
the hotel where we then were. When I left 
Prince INIetternich, I thought it expedient 
to go to Prince Talleyrand's, near whose resi- 
dence was the seat of the provisional govern- 
ment, that I might have my passports examined, 
as the Count Clam had advised me. 

I found the apartment filled with a great 
number of people whom I knew, and at the de- 
sire of Count Francis de Jaucourt, my relation, 
JNI. Dupont de Nemours, who did not know 
me, put the mark of inspection on my passports* 
a precaution necessary to prevent my being 
stopped in my journey to Fontainebleau. In 
talking with Count Jaucourt and General Des- 
soUes, I happened to say that I had just seen 
Prince JNIetternich. On hearing that name. 
Prince Talleyrand, who was in a window-seat 
with ]M. de Nesselrode, turned towards me, 
and asked if I was quite certain that Prince 
JMetternicii had arrived. I replied that I had 
only just left him. A moment afterwards, M. 
de Nesselrode left the apartment, and I heard 
the noise of his carriage driving on at a great 
pace. At this period the saloon of INI. de 
Talleyrand was the central point, where am- 
bition and prejudice met. It was rather a cu- 
rious siglit for me, who had not been enabled 


by successive circumstances to form an idea of 
the various modifications which had been in- 
troduced by the presence of so many enemies in 
the capital of France. I knew tolerably well 
the opinions and private interests of the greater 
part of the persons assembled. I perceived the 
agent of the arch-chancellor, whom I had left 
at Blois in the apartment of Count Schouwaloff ; 
he must have been very rapid in his movements. 
I remarked that the persons whose devotion 
and enthusiasm for the Imperial family I had 
frequently admired, were precisely those who 
placed in their hats the largest white cockades. 
I was going away, when I saw Count Nessel- 
rode return ; I remained with some friends 
whom I had been glad once more to meet 

Prince Talleyrand, forgetting apparently that 
I was a kind of intruder, after conversing for 
a few minutes with the Count de Nesselrode 
turned towards us and said, " Gentlemen, the 
Emperor of Austria approves all that we have 
done." It was easy to judge from these words, 
that Austria had not even been consulted. M. 
de Talleyrand undoubtedly contributed more 
than any other man to the downfal of Napo- 
leon, and to the re-establishment of the Bour- 
bon family on the Frencli throne, 
vox,, n. i2 c 


I mixed in the crowd, and returned hom€ 
with a confusion of ideas, sentiments, and re- 
flections, which may be easily conceived. I 
had not even sufficient presence of mind to ar- 
range some of my private affairs. This kind 
of apathy continued until the hour appoint- 
ed for me to go to M. de Metternich's. I 
arrived at Prince Schwartzenberg's hotel at 
the same time as the ministers plenipotentiary 
of the allied powers. I saw pass in succession, 
the Duke of Vicenza, Prince Talleyrand, Prince 
Hardenberg, M. de Nesselrode, Lord Castle- 
reagh, the Duke of Tarento, &c., who were all, 
together with M. de Metternich, going to pro- 
nounce the fate of the Imperial family. M. 
de Metternich, on going into the cabinet 
where such important interests were to be de- 
cided, had the kindness to tell me, that he 
would come and inform me of the measures 
agreed on, in order that I might be able to give 
an account to the Empress. At length, after 
two hours' conference, the Prince de Metternich 
left the council, and told me, that in virtue 
of a treaty which had just been signed (11th 
of April, at one in the morning), the Emperor 
Napoleon should keep his title of Emperor; 
that he should have for indemnity the sove- 
reignty of the Island of Elba ; that the Duchies 


of Parma and Placentia should be given to the 
Empress, and that he would send on Thursday 
morning Prince Paul of Esterhazy, to make 
this official communication to his Majesty, and 
to deliver to him an authentic copy of the 

As will be seen in the second article of this 
treaty, concluded in the name of all the Allies 
with the Plenipotentiaries of the Emperor Na- 
poleon, " Their Majesties the Emperor Napo- 
leon and the Empress IMaria Louisa will pre- 
serve their titles and qualities during life. The 
Emperor's mother, brothers, sisters, nephews, 
and nieces, will likewise preserve, wherever 
they may be, the titles of Princes of his fa- 

This condition was signed and accepted on 
the 11th of April, in the name of the King of 
France, by the Provisional Government, and 
in the name of the King of England, by Lord 
Castlereagh. It is very remarkable, that this 
is the only occasion on Avhich the Cabinet of 
London directly recognised Napoleon as Em- 
peror ; it consented to do so at the moment 
only when, by the very act, he ceased to be so. 
With regard to this recognition of titles, Car- 
dinal Gonsalvi said to me at Sclioenbruim, at 
the end of 1814, "Could it have been sup- 

2 c 2 


posed in France, that the Pope had been to 
Paris for no other purpose than to crown and 
consecrate a man of straw !" I took from my 
purse a five franc piece. " Behold,'' said I, " an 
undeniable proof of his sovereign power ! it is 
to be found in the pocket of every Frenchman." 
Indeed, had the contrary opinion prevailed, it 
would have reduced a chamberlain to a valet de 
chambre; a groom, to a piqueur ; a prefect of 
the palace, to a head cook, &c. &c. It may 
easily be imagined how unwilling the desire of 
rank and consideration so natural to all man- 
kind, must make us to yield any thing on these 

On the 11th of April I set out for Fontaine- 
bleau at two in the morning, and T was not 
obliged to show my passport, for no one asked 
to see it. I saw an immense number of persons 
on the road, who were going to Paris in great 
haste. The last person I met was General 
Hullin. It was nine o'clock when I arrived at 
the palace. 

I was immediately admitted to the Emperor, 
to whom I presented the letter of the Empress. 
'* Good Louisa !" said he, after having read it. 
He then asked many questions concerning her 
health, and that of his son. I entreated him to 
honour me with an answer, assuring him of the 

napoleon's opinion of ELBA. 389 

great desire I bad to carry with me a consola- 
tion which the mind of the Empress stood so 
greatly in need of. " Remain here to-day, to- 
morrow I will give you my letter." 

I found Napoleon calm, tranquil, and de- 
cided. His mind was finely tempered. Never, 
perhaps, did he appear greater. I spoke to him 
of the Island of Elba. He already knew that 
this little sovereignty would be given him. 
He even showed me a book of geography and 
statistics, which lay on his table, and which 
contained, concerning this residence, all the in- 
formation and particulars which he wished to 
acquire. " The air there is healthy," said he, 
" and the inhabitants are excellent. I shall not 
be very badly off, and I hope that INIaria Lou- 
isa will not be very unhappy either." He was 
not ignorant of the obstacles which had just 
been raised to their imion, at the Palace of 
Fontainebleau ; but he flattered himself that 
once in the possession of Parma, the Empress 
and her son would be allowed to take up their 
residence with him at the island of Elba. He 
indeed flattered himself ! He was never again 
to see these objects of his tenderest aflTection. I 
retired, when the Prince of Neufchatel entered 
the Emperor's cabinet. 

About two o'clock in the afternoon the Em- 
peror walked by himself on the terrace behind 


the gallery of Francis the First. He sent 
for me, and again interrogated me concern- 
ing the events which I had witnessed. He was 
far from approving of the removal from Paris. 
I mentioned the letter which he had written to 
his brother Joseph. " Circumstances were no 
longer the same," said he ; " it was necessary to 
decide according to the new state of things. 
The mere presence of Louisa at Paris would 
have sufficed to prevent the treason and deser- 
tion of some of my troops. I should still be at 
the head of a formidable army, with which I 
would have forced the enemy to leave Paris, 
and to sign an honourable peace." I thought I 
might remark to him, that his refusal to sign 
that peace at Chatillon was greatly to be re- 
gretted. — " I never placed any confidence in 
the good faith of the enemy — each day fresh 
demands, fresh conditions. They did not wish 
for peace. And then, I had told France that 
I would never consent to any terms which I 
thought humiliating, even if the enemy should 
be on the heights of Montmartre." I took the 
liberty of remarking, that France, although 
greatly limited, would still have been one of 
the finest kingdoms in the world. — " I abdi- 
cate, and I yield nothing." This was the an- 
swer he made, with remarkable serenity. 


During this audience, which lasted more than 
two hours, he gave me his opinion of several 
of his lieutenants : he expressed himself with 
great energy concerning one of them ; but 
when he spoke of the Duke of Tarento, he 
added these words to a just eulogium on his 
character : " Macdonald is a brave and honour- 
able soldier. It was not till these late occur- 
rences that I could appreciate all the nobleness 
of his character : his connexion with Moreau 
had prejudiced me against him ; but I did him 
wrong, and I now regret that I did not know 
his character better." 

Then passing on to other subjects, " You 
see," said he, " the force of destiny ! At the 
battle of Arcis sur Aube 1 sought a glorious 
death, disputing foot by foot the soil of the 
country. I purposely exposed myself; the 
balls flew around me, my clothes were pierced, 
but none," said he, sighing, " reached me. To 
owe my death to an act of despair would be 
base and cowardly. Suicide is inconsistent with 
my principles and the rank I have filled in the 
world. I am a man condemned to live !" said 
he, sighing again. We walked up and down 
the terrace several times in silence. " Between 
you and me," said the Emperor, with a bitter 
smile, "they say that a living scoundrel is better 


than a dead Emperor." The pecuhar manner 
in which he pronounced these words, made me 
think that the equivalent to this adage might 
well be this — " The dead alone never return." 

Finally, I discoursed with him concerning 
the different persons I met on the road in com- 
ing from Paris. The last person I named was 
General Hullin. " Oh ! as to him, he will ar- 
rive too late to make his peace with' the Bour- 
bons." As he spoke these words, which I 
relate faithfully and without comment, he en- 
tered his apartment, I never saw him again ! 



On Napoleon — His Private Habits — His Personal Dignity — 
Observations of Napoleon — IMaria Louisa at Orleans 
— Return of the Crown diamonds — Prince Paul of Ester- 
hazy at Orleans — Departure for Ranibouillet — Visit of the 
Emperor of Austria — V'isit of the Emperor Alexander — 
Visit of the King of Prussia — Departure from Ranibouil- 
let for Gros-Bois ; residence there— Visit of the Emperor 
of Austria; departure for Germany— The Empress Maria 
Louisa leaves France on the 2d of May. 

At this period of his hfe, Napoleon was 
forty-six years old. He was about five feet 
five inches in height ; his head was large, his eyes 
of a clear blue ; his hair dark chesnut ; his eye- 
lashes were lighter than his eyebrows, which were, 
like his hair, of a deep chesnut ; his nose was 
well shaped, and the form of his mouth pleasing 
and extremely expressive ; his liands were re- 
markablv wliite and beautiful ; his feet were 


small, but his shoes were not calculated to show 
them off to advantage, because he would not 
endure the smallest restraint. On the whole, 
he was well made and well proportioned. I 
have particularly remarked a habit which he 
had of inclining, by a sudden movement, his 
head and the upper part of his body to the 
right, and of applying his arm and elbow to 
his side, as if he wished to make himself taller. 
This mechanical movement was very slight, and 
only remarkable when he was conversing as he 
walked. It did not in the least detract from 
the imposing ensemble of his appearance. 

Genius and power were expressed on his 
laro-e hish forehead. His forehead alone was suf- 
ficient to form a physiognomy. The fire which 
flashed from his eyes expressed all his thoughts 
and feelings. But when the serenity of his 
temper was not disturbed, the most pleasing 
smile lighted up his noble countenance, and 
arave to it an undefinable charm, which I never 
beheld in any other person ! At these times it 
was impossible to see him without loving him. 

I have already said, in speaking of his tastes, 
that his only nicety consisted in extreme clean- 
liness, and that his dress was not at all remark- 
able. One day, wishing to set the example of 
a useful encouragement to the maiuifacturers 


of Lyons, he appeared at one of Maria Louisa's 
parties in a dark-coloured velvet coat, with 
diamond buttons. He was not at all himself, 
and seemed quite uncomfortable in his new 

One day, during the Spanish campaign at 
Aranda, he sent for me at seven in the morn- 
ing, to give me some Spanish papers which he 
was in a hurry to have translated. He was 
standing shaving himself near a window ; 
Roustan held a large glass ; when he had 
shaved one side of his face, he changed sides, 
and Roustan replaced himself in such a man- 
ner, that the side not shaved was towards the 
light. Napoleon used only one hand in this 

Another time at Schoenbrunn, durino; the ar- 
mistice which followed the battle of XA'^aoram. 
1809, I assisted him in putting on a grey frock 
coat, which one of his valets de chambre brought 
him, and which he desired him to place on a 
chair, wishing to finish a game of chess which 
he did me the honour to play with me : He 
was going incognito witli the Duke of Frioul 
(Diu'oc) in a private carriage, to see some mag- 
nificent fireworks which had been pre])ared on 
the Prater, on the signature of the prelimina- 
ries of the peace. A box had been taken un- 


der a feigned name. Except on these three 
occasions I never saw Napoleon in any other 
dress than that of Colonel of chasseurs^ or 
grenadier of his guards, or in his own costume 
of Emperor. 

JNIuch has been said of Napoleon's passionate 
taste for women. Appreciating as he did their 
merit and beauty, it is not to be supposed that 
he was free from those amiable weaknesses 
which constitute the charms of life, and to 
which all men pay the same homage. It is 
certain, that the young man who is just enter- 
ing on life, and who trembles at each moment 
lest his secret should be betrayed, is less re- 
served on this point than Napoleon was. It 
was never he, but the women themselves, that 
made these transitory inclinations public ; and 
I think their number has been singularly ex- 

His taste for snufF has been equally talked 
of. I can assert with truth, that he lost more 
than he took. It was rather a fancy, a kind of 
amusement, than a real want. His snuff-boxes 
were very plain, of an oval shape, made of 
black shell, lined with gold, all exactly aHke, 
and differing only in the beautiful antique sil- 
ver medals, which were set in the lid. 


Nature had established a perfect harmony 
between his power and his habits, between his 
public and his private life. His deportment 
and manners were always tlie same ; they were 
inherent and unstudied. He was the only man 
in the world of whom it may be said without 
adulation, that the nearer you viewed him the 
greater he appeared. 

There is one observation, which will certainl}^ 
not be forgotten by the historian, to whose lot 
it may fall to delineate the character of this 
eminently celebrated man. He knew how to 
preserve his personal dignity unimpaired at all 
times and in all circumstances, wliether when 
surrounded by the bayonets of Europe, or 
when delivered, disarmed, to the insults of the 
gaolers of St. Helena. 

I have often heard the Emperor say, that 
the incurable folly of Frenclunen was car- 
rying tlieir sentiments to an extreme, and 
pretending to be much more inconstant in 
their tastes than they really were. 

He was well aware, tliat previous to the Re- 
volution there existed no true national spirit in 
France, because until tlieu tlic French nation 
was governed by maimers and customs ratlier 


than by fixed and constitutional laws, and that 
it was simply the dominion of strength over 

He said that Frenchmen, naturally chival- 
rous and warlike, were always led away, and 
even overcome by the splendour of glory ; that 
they forgave every thing when followed by 
success and victory ; but that it was necessary 
to restrain them by the unity and dignity of 
the administration, and by fixed laws. 

He said sometimes that the enthusiasm of 
others abated his. 

Men, in his opinion, were so many cyphers 
which acquired value from their situation alone. 

" Men," he said, " as well as pictures, requir- 
ed to be placed in a favourable light." 

" In general," he added, " the fortune of men 
depends on circumstances." 

These last reflections have always appeared 
to me extremely discouraging to merit and 

The Emperor of Austria, during our stay at 
Dresden in 1814, said to Napoleon that he had 
learnt from strict searches among his archives, 
that the family of Bonaparte had very anci- 
ently been sovereigns (of some little principal- 


ity in Italy, the name of whicli 1 forget,) and 
that nothing would be more easy than to prove 
it legally. Napoleon thanked him, and replied 
that he had no need of ancestors. 

Chance threw in my way the funeral-extract 
of his father, who died at Montpellier. 

" In the year 1783, on the 24th of February, 

died Messire Charles Bonaparte, husband of the 

lady Lsetitia de Ramolini, formerly Deputy of 

the Nobility of the States of Corsica at the 

Court, aged about thirty-nine years. Register 

of the parish of St. Denis de Montpellier. 

(Signed) Cortant, ) 

TV, t Vicars. 

Me JEAN, ) 

Marin, Curate." 
He was interred in the Church of the Cor- 
deliers, and disinterred in 1805, to be conveyed 
to the Castle of Saint- Leu, by the order of 
Prince Louis, one of his sons. 

This same day, the 11th of April, I set out 
from Fontainebleau at ten in the evening, after 
receiving my despatches in the Emperor's ca- 
binet from Baron Fain, his head secretary. 

April 12. 
I arrived at Orleans at eight o'clock, I satis- 
fied the Empress respecting the orders whicli 


she had given me, and delivered to her Napo- 
leon's answer. 

She approved of my giving her letter to 
Prince Metternich. I thought I should have 
been the first to inform her that the Duchies 
of Parma and Placentia were ensured to her ; 
but General Fouler had arrived the evening 
before, from the Duke of Vicenza, to com- 
municate this intelligence to her Majesty. 

M. Dudon, master of requests, appointed 
commissioner by the provisional government, 
appeared to prove the return of the diamonds, 
the plate, and the property of the Crown. The 
inventory was made according to the decrees of 
the senate, which determined its value and qua- 
lity. This restoration was performed with the 
greatest integrity. 

The crowd which accompanied the Empress 
on her departure from Paris was singularly di- 
minished. What I shall term the first emigra- 
tion may be dated from Blois, on the arrival of 
Count SchouwalofF; but there still remained 
around the Empress almost all the persons who 
composed her honorary suite. The second emi- 
gration, which took place at Orleans, reduced 
to a small number the persons who considered 


it their duty to remain with the Empress and 
her son. 

Prince Paul of Esterhazy and Prince Ven- 
ceslas Lich ten stein arrived some hours after 
me, and officially confirmed the assurances 
which M. de Metternich had charged me to 
give the Empress. When the audience grant- 
ed them was over, orders were given to prepare 
for the departure to Rambouillet. 

We left Orleans at seven in the evening, 
under the protection of Count Schouv/alofF. 
The Imperial Guard in mournful silence, es- 
corted her Majesty's carriages, and still hoped 
to be engaged in her service at Rambouillet ; 
but on our stopping to change horses at Anger- 
ville, this chosen body were dismissed, and re- 
placed by Cossacks, who brandished their long 
pikes around us as if we had been a convoy 
of prisoners. The Imperial Guard repaired to 

We found the palace of Rambouillet guard- 
ed by a regular regiment of Cossacks, who, 
more civilized than those who had escorted us, 
performed their service with as much exactness 
as discretion. 

By degrees communication with the capital 
became more easy, and the nature of the events 

VOL. IL 2 1) 


wliich passed there was better understood and 

The Emperor of Austria wrote word to the 
Empress that he would come and breakfast 
Avith her. He arrived in a plain open carri- 
age with his minister, Prince Metternich. 
Being apprized of his approach, the Empress, 
followed by her son, her ladies who had 
not left her, and the other officers of her 
household, went to the very bottom of the 
steps leading to the palace-gate. The Empe- 
ror's calash stopped ; he instantly alighted, and 
when he came to the Empress, that Princess 
took her son from the hands of Madame de 
Montesquiou, and quickly placed him in his 
grandfather's arms before she herself received 
his firsl embraces. This action, so natural to 
the feelings of a mother, produced an emotion 
visible on the features of the Emperor Francis. 
Perhaps at that moment he repented having 
listened to old resentments, and was sorry that 
he had seconded the hatred of England. 

April 16. 
This day fixed the destiny of the Empress 
and her son. It was decided that she should 


visit Austria before she went into Italy to take 
possession of her duchies. 

Before leaving her, the Emperor, her father, 
informed her of the Emperor Alexander's in- 
tended visit. 

On the appointed day (the 18th of April) 
the Emperor Alexander came to breakfast 
with the Empress. He was so agreeable, and 
so much at his ease, that we were almost 
tempted to believe that no serious event had 
happened at Paris. After breakfast, the Czar 
asked the Empress's permission to go and see 
her son. And turning towards me, who had 
the honour to be known to him since the in- 
terview at Erfurt, he said : — " M. de Bausset, 
will you have the goodness to conduct me to 
the apartments of the little king." These 
were his own words. I led the way, after 
having informed Madame de Montesquiou. 
When the Emperor Alexander saw the noble 
child, he kissed him, examined him attentively, 
and loaded him with caresses. He said many 
flattering things to Madame de Montesquiou; 
and before going away, again kissed " the little 
king," whose father he had just dethroned. 

2 D 2 


Two days after this, I received the following 

letter : — 

" General Scholler has the honour to inform 
the Count de Bausset, that his Majesty the 
King of Prussia, not wishing to change the 
usual dinner-hour of her Majesty the Empress, 
intends visiting Rambouillet to-morrow about 
noon, and returning to dinner at Paris. 

" It is most likely that no one will Accom- 
pany his Majesty but an aide-de-camp," &c. &c. 

I gave this letter to the Empress, who or- 
dered me to answer General Scholler, that she 
should receive with pleasure the visit of his 
Majesty the King of Prussia ; who arrived 
exactly at the time mentioned. His visit 
lasted an hour. On leaving the Empress, the 
King of Prussia asked me, as the Emperor 
Alexander had done, to conduct him to the 
little king. I instantly obeyed him : he was 
less affectionate, less prodigal of his caresses, 
than the Emperor Alexander ; but, like him, 
he kissed the little king. 

April 23. 
The Empress quitted Rambouillet on the 
23rd of April for Gros-bois, where she inhabit- 
ed the house of the Princess of Neufchatel. 


The Emperor of Austria remained there the 
whole of the 24th. 

All being arranged and settled for the de- 
parture, her Majesty left Gros-bois on the 25th 
of April, and slept the same night at Provins, 
the 26th at Troyes, the 27th at Chatillon, 
the 28th at Dijon, the 29th at Grai, the 30th 
at Vesoul, the 1st of IMay at Befort, and on 
Monday the 2nd of IMay she left France and 
passed the Rhine between Huningen and Basle. 

In looking back upon the memorable period, 
of which I have given so faint a sketch, I 
have sometimes almost thought that I had 
been a witness of the wonders of the Arabian 
Tales. The magic picture of so much splen- 
dour and glory has disappeared, and the achieve- 
ments of power and ambition are remembered 
only as a dream ! 






Santa Barbara 





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